Innovation for Agriculture will launch a new project this Autumn working to boost communication between policy makers and farmers.

Supported by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, the immersion centre is a virtual concept and consists of a structured, facilitated exchange programme bringing together UK farmers with policy stakeholders, to assist with solving specific questions or challenges facing food and farming. This is timely considering the current development of policies affecting farming, such as the Environmental Land Management scheme and the perceived gap and sometimes limited dialogue between policy-makers and policy-takers (i.e. farmers).

Through the immersion centre, policy stakeholders, farmers and where applicable researchers, will come together in small groups to discuss upcoming policy changes or plans in safe, facilitated and structured interactions. Participating farmers will have an actionable route through which they can share experiences and ideas directly with policy stakeholders as well as researchers, therefore providing a means for farmers to be listened to and in turn improving their understanding and buy-in to policy changes. Policy stakeholders will benefit from ongoing dialogue with farmers, which will improve their understanding of the challenges farmers are dealing with and highlighting any unintended consequences from certain decisions. This communication programme between farmers, policy stakeholders and researchers will build mutual respect and facilitate dialogue across the different stakeholder groups. This will help shape future policy at local and national levels, contribute to the co-development of practical and mutually agreed-upon solutions and ultimately lead to better buy-in to change across the board.

This programme will be led by IfA’s Lisa Morgans who commented ‘As the food & farming industry embarks on this period of significant change, it is essential that future policy considers the views of all involved. As an independent charitable organisation IfA are well placed to facilitate this programme and we are very grateful for the support of the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust which will enable us to do so.’

Applicants seeking to participate in this programme are encouraged to register their interest by emailing