The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNRER) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a bridge between local and national Government and the business community, creating services that allow the economy to grow.
Given its role in a region that has a significant rural economy, the LEP has been working with organisations that represent farming and food to combat the consequences of Brexit which will result in the loss of 40% of some farmer’s income when the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies end.
The campaign they established is called Grow Yorkshire, which features an online hub where farmers can find information and support. Aberfield was tasked with launching the initiative designed to combat that loss of income.
Our main aims were to:
The campaign launched on Saturday 13th April and ended on 31st May 2019.
The agricultural sector makes a £438m contribution to the YNYER economy and 32,110 people in Yorkshire and the Humberside operate within the agricultural industry, emphasising the importance of gaining Government support and helping farmers innovate so they can remain profitable post-Brexit.
We undertook extensive research to understand farmer behaviours, revealing that mobile technology was key; it’s often a farmer’s main link to the outside world. Insight also highlighted the busy schedules farmers have, meaning we had to find ways to communicate with them at home.
There was a high degree of media fatigue around Brexit, which presented an opportunity for a fresh perspective. We used Grow Yorkshire’s positive messaging around post-Brexit opportunities to move the conversation on.
Our strategy was to demonstrate that the rural economy and farmers had influential and wide-spread support that the Government needed to listen to. We also wanted to bring to life innovative ideas that would inspire farmers.
In order to do this, we developed an intensive PR, social media and influencer campaign to generate impact and build momentum.
As a result of delivering the Open Letter to Government, an official representative from Defra joined the Grow Yorkshire steering group and the Government acknowledged the initiative as fundamental to supporting farmers in the region. The representative will be a key liaison between Defra and Grow Yorkshire, using outputs from meetings to feed into the development of future farming policies
Through the campaign, we also:
Aissa Gallie, Head of Communications and Engagement at the YNYER LEP, said: “Aberfield shone out from the crowd through its ‘Positive Influence’ approach and this continued during the planning and launch phases of the campaign, leading to fantastic results that exceeded expectations; all achieved under time pressure and working within a limited budget.
“The team demonstrated an excellent understanding of the Grow Yorkshire project, its wider aims and desired results throughout, as well as outstanding knowledge of the wider agricultural, political and media landscapes.”