When a farmer registers an interest in benchmarking their farm business, a Data Collector will normally visit to collect the ‘raw’ data required for all enterprises on the farm. When necessary, the data can be collected remotely. Both financial and physical information is gathered from farm accounts, VAT records, sales statements and receipts, livestock registers and other farm recording systems.
The Business Technology Team at CAFRE validates the information ensuring the figures are accurate and generate a comprehensive report for each farm enterprise. The report shows key physical and financial performance for the current year as well as farm data for the two previous years. The report also provides average financial data for other farms. A whole-farm report is generated, allowing the farmer to compare each enterprise on the farm. A key element of the process is the follow-up visit to the farm by a CAFRE Development Adviser to discuss the benchmarking results. Using the up-to-date data presented in the financial benchmarking reports, the adviser and farmer can assess the performance of the business. This helps them create a Business Development Plan which will identify short, medium and long term objectives to improve future farm performance.
Since the BDG scheme was launched many farmers have reported that participation in the groups has already helped them in developing their businesses and they have also valued getting out and meeting with other farmers and sharing their knowledge and experiences.
CAFRE is also piloting carbon footprint benchmarking among members of the twenty environmental farming BDGs established in 2020.
To discover more about benchmarking and find out what some BDG farmers have to say, please see the document below:
If you are interested in benchmarking, please contact your CAFRE Business Development Group adviser.