Cumbrian Farmer talks diversification at Farm Business Innovation event

Posted by Simon Wood - The Welly Farmer on 14th Nov 2018

PRESS RELEASE:

13-11-18

Simon Wood, from The Warm Welly Company at Walton, was invited to speak at the Farm Business innovation event at the NEC last week. The focus of his talk was how he diversified from livestock farming to manufacturing and selling Warm Wellies via the internet.

Farm Business Innovation is the UK’s leading event dedicated to diversification, providing guidance, education, contacts and inspiration for those looking to diversify and increase profitability of farms and is held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Over 9000 forward thinking farmers and rural business owners visited the NEC to explore new ideas. As well as hundreds of exhibitors, the event was also host to over 100 inspirational seminars.

Simon was invited to speak after the team heard him on the BBC Farming Today programme. Simon joined a lineup of speakers that included John Kirkpatrick from Tesco, John Hoy - newly appointed CEO at Castle Howard and members of the CLA to name but a few.

‘The pleasures and pitfalls of warm wellies’ was the title of Simon’s presentation which drew a crowd in an unusual venue. Simon said “It’s the first time I’ve been to this event and it’s certainly the first time I have ever done a presentation in a tepee!

“People were keen to hear how we discovered a market to explore and wanted to hear how I found a link to manufactures - so I told how I met Elvis - our contact in China. It was great to be able to tell our story and we even met some of our customers too.”

During the two-day event Simon had plenty of opportunity to explore what was on show, and time to listen to a few other seminars. Commenting on the event he said “Without doubt, glamping and pods were the strongest feature at the show. Diversification with tourism was top of the agenda. The only real product diversifications were around ice cream and there is still keen interest in anaerobic digesters. There was nothing like a farming related product like warm wellies.

“It’s always good to get out and see what’s happening at events like this - and we’ve come back with a few new product ideas that will help us extend what we offer our customers. Sometimes you just need a different place to think and time to focus on developing the business rather than working in the business all the time. An event like this helps stimulate different thoughts so it was certainly well worth attending.

Discover more about Warm Wellies at www.warmwellies.co.uk or contact Simon Wood on 016977 41937.

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For more information about this release or for more pictures, contact Tracey Errington on 07799 640 290 or email [email protected]

Pictures :Simon with his warm wellies. Presenting at the Farm innovation event.

Warm Wellies - because no one should have cold feet

EDITORS NOTES:

Honest down to earth farmers with a strong family focus: Simon and Cookie Wood moved to Hillfield Farm, Cumbria in 2000 farming a breeding flock of 300 sheep. Passionate about the outdoors they enhanced their landscape with over 6,500 trees and 2.8km of hedges. Their kids were always involved. Daughter Chloe was a baby in 2000, but the family grew. By 2006 Chloe was 6, Isabel was 4, twins Archie and Tom were 2. The children were the inspiration for Warm Wellies and are still models and welly testers today.

The Wellies:

Warm Wellies launched 2007 – the first natural rubber, neoprene lined wellies designed for kids

Wellies insulated with 4mm of neoprene lining - comfy not clumpy

Neoprene is used in wetsuits and by NASA Astronauts

Adult wellies launched 2016

Wide Warm Wellies launch late summer 2018