The Farm Business Survey (FBS) at Newcastle operates a Free, Confidential Farm Benchmarking service to farmers across Northern England. Participating farms receive a detailed set of farm management accounts with a comparative analysis against a group of similar businesses. An annual benchmarking guide is available to all participating farms. The Farm Business Survey at Newcastle currently involves some 230 farms across Northumberland, Cumbria, Co. Durham and Tyne and Wear. There is no extra record keeping required and the service is completely free.
The Farm Business Survey is widely recognised as the most authoritative and impartial source of Farm Business Information in England. It is supported by the farming unions, the CLA and the TFA. The survey is part of a nationwide network involving 6 other Universities and Agricultural Colleges which operate together as Rural Business Research. Data is collected to a common methodology allowing national comparisons to be made and detailed Enterprise reports and Farm Group results by Government Office Region are available for viewing.
The operation is largely financed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) where the information is used to inform government decisions and monitor policy impacts. The data ultimately becomes part of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) of the European Union where the Newcastle data forms part of FADN Region 410, England North.