Richard Means

Richard Means

Dec, 12 2022

Ceres Rural has continued to go from strength to strength in 2022, adding to its headcount and winning national awards, while racking up numerous business successes and expanding the company’s offering to the rural economy.

Established less than two years ago, the rural consultancy goes into 2023 in even better shape to provide farmers and landowners with the independent advice required to navigate the transition period and make the changes that will equip them for future success.

During 2022, Ceres Rural’s 42% increase in staff numbers – of which nearly two-thirds are women – saw eleven new staff members join the team, three of which have been given a start in rural consultancy.

Furthermore, 2022 has seen seven of Ceres Rural’s employees put through their BASIS and FACTS training, and an additional six employees have become probationers of the CAAV – adding further talent to their line-up.

This growth reflects the rising demand for the company’s services, which led to an additional c.12,500 hectares being taken on by qualified Ceres Rural agronomists during the year.  

In addition to its agronomy and farm management services, Ceres Rural carried out 28 health and safety engagements during 2022, held eight ‘On The Farm’ days and ran three rural business seminars.

These activities were geared towards helping the industry become safer and more resilient, while also helping individual businesses to reflect on current performance and look ahead to the next season.  

Success in national farming awards included Ceres Rural partner and technical lead Jock Willmott winning the Farmers Weekly Arable Adviser of the Year 2022 Award, while Associate Partner Alice Andrews is shortlisted for the National Arable and Grassland Awards’ Young Agronomist of the Year – the results of which are due in February 2023.

“Both achievements underline the company’s determination to provide the independent and expert advice that it is increasingly being recognised for”, says managing partner Richard Means.

“We are delighted with these well-deserved successes,” he comments. “Winning national accolades highlights the dedication and commitment of individuals, as well as the team support and motivation that is behind their achievements.”

With their sights set on further growth, Ceres Rural was delighted to be appointed by Defra in July as a key provider of business support and advice in the final stage of the Future Farming Resilience Fund. As a result of winning this contract, some 1,500 business reviews will be conducted and delivered over the next two years, having already delivered bespoke advice packages to over 400 rural businesses in the previous stage of the initiative.

This final stage will see it deliver three different packages – gold, silver and bronze – containing items such as farm resilience reports, carbon audits, benchmarking updates, business plans, budgets and follow-up business reviews.

And not stopping with their practical, farming-led interests, Ceres Rural has also developed its strategic partnership with Ceres Property, which has allowed it to add to its specialised range of services and help clients maximise the value of their land and property assets, in line with the requirements of the wider rural economy.

Ceres Property starts 2023 with a key seminar for landowners on 24th January, hosted in conjunction with Ceres Rural. The seminar at Cranfield University will provide a platform for education around biodiversity offsetting and the opportunities it presents for landowners, as councils start to enforce the requirement on developers.

“It’s been a very busy year for the young and talented Ceres Rural team, which has moved forward at pace,” says Mr Means. “We are keen to see our expansion continue into 2023 and beyond, both in the breadth of services that we offer and in the areas that we operate in.” 


To register your interest in some FREE advice through the Defra Future Farming Resilience Fund, please visit: ceresrural.co.uk/service/free-business-advice

Tickets for the Biodiversity Offsetting Seminar can be purchased here.

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