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NEWBIE - Background

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The overall goal of the NEWBIE network is to enable new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses in Europe

In NEWBIE, “new entrants” are defined as anyone who starts a new farm business or becomes involved in an existing farm business. They comprise a wide range of ages, agricultural experience and resource access. Newcomers and successors can enter farming at any stage in their working lives. They face common barriers: access to land, labour, capital, housing, markets, knowledge and the networks needed to acquire these resources.

The NEWBIE network will focus on innovative new entrant support methods like business incubators, mainly developed in France and Ireland, and on new business models developed by new entrants all over Europe. The network will enable their development and dissemination to other European countries and integration into scientific research. This will be achieved through a consortium comprised of agricultural advisors, agricultural educators, researchers, and an NGO specialising in establishing new entrant ‘incubators’.

Project objectives

  • To collect, critically review and publicise existing and potential new farm business models and new entry models and associated communication channels across a broad range of international contexts.
  • To increase the flow of practical, educational and scientific information on new business models and new entry models between and within the geographical areas in Europe by consolidating durable connections between practice, formal and informal education, advice and research at national and European levels, for supporting further development of strategic business planning methods in agricultural advisory, training and education.
  • To produce and disseminate practice-based, educational and scientific information on business models and entry models in an easily accessible form, for new entrants through traditional and non-traditional agricultural knowledge systems (including farming organisations; farm advisory services; agricultural colleges and universities; operational groups; LEADER; regional and national business development agencies; and social media e.g. twitter, Facebook, websites, You-Tube), making this information available long-term.
  • To increase awareness and user acceptance throughout the agri-food industry and in rural businesses of the available new business and entry models, through establishment of stakeholder-led steering and discussion groups and development of practical ‘toolkits’ for new business model establishment.
  • To foster creative experimentation within practice, education and research on new entrant business models, through prizes and promotion of innovative business models, thus leading to increased economic, environmental and social gains from these enterprises.
  • To provide support for the implementation of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability', through interaction with Operational Groups, and in particular through the delivery of a substantial number of “practice abstracts” in the common format of the EIP-AGRI, including a library of new entrant visual ‘stories’ illustrating successful new entrant business models.
  • To provide input for research agendas and policy on new business models and new entry models for new entrants, including the identification of current barriers to the up-take of innovative new models (both within farming and associated support systems), helping to develop more resilient European agriculture and rural areas, as well as strong interactions between rural-(peri-) urban areas.

Main Outputs

  • An inventory of business models and entry models currently succeeding in enabling new entrants, achieved through transdisciplinary analysis of academic and grey literature and practical experience of business models for new entrants. This will include a review of the curricular material currently available through European agricultural colleges and universities on new entrant business models and rural development.
  • Establishment of regional/national new entrant support networks (~50 members in each consortium member’s country), including new entrants, advisory organisations, policy makers, other agricultural industry members and stakeholders to identify, discuss and disseminate success promising approaches. This group will be led by a steering group which prioritises topics for discussion and training. Follow @NewbieUK or request to join the NewbieUK Facebook group of new entrant and resource providers to find out more.
  • 20 bilateral exchange visits and 2 European conferences offering seminars, field visits and networking between advisors, new entrants, researchers and policy makers. The conferences will be jointly held with EUFRAS (European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services) and the European Seminar on Extension and Education.
  • Increased  up-take of ‘new entry’ models (i.e. share farming, joint ventures and farming incubators) amongst new entrants, farming advisors and policy makers across Europe. 
  • A set of new entrant ambassadors:  an international advisory board, as well as regional advisory groups and ambassadors will contribute their expertise and act as advocates and information conduits for the network and its activities; connect to Rural Networks and Rural Parliaments.
  • Publicise new entrant success:  NEWBIE will award annual prizes for new business models for new entrants at national level, and feature these on in press releases, web-site and videos (award information). These awards will foster innovation and it’s communication in new entrant businesses.
  • A library of ‘visual storytelling’ videos of the successful innovative new entrant business models awarded prizes (above), and identified by linked projects (e.g. RURAL/ITER, Mentoring Women for Entrepreneurship; MULTIFARM_EU6th and 7th Framework projects ESOF, FarmPath, ProAKIS, Solinsa, SUFISA; Erasmus project Urban Green Train, SIMPACT 11; EIP-Agri Focus Group on Short Food Supply Chains).
  • A substantive set of pedagogical materials for educators and advisors relating to new entrant business models and entry models, including videos for classroom use.
  • Targeted recommendations with associated toolkits: for new entrants and farming groups on how to initiate specific supports (e.g. share farming, incubators); options for engaging with local authorities; recommendations for policy (local, regional, national, European) on how to stimulate or facilitate new entrants on different levels (legislation, planning, advise etc.)


Other project partners

Wageningen University (the Netherlands), Teagasc (Republic of Ireland), University of Leuven (Belgium), University of Evora (Portugal), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Bund der Deutschen Landjugend, Business Incubator Gotse Delchev (Bulgaria), the German University of Applied Sciences, and the French National Network of Farm Incubators.  Advisors to the project include the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), The European Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (EUFRAS) and Terre de Liens (a civic organisation promoting access to land in France).

Key contacts

Lee-Ann Sutherland    Adam Calo


Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.