Developing a segmentation model of the Welsh agricultural industry

Welsh Government
Start date:
January 2013
December 2014

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays an important role in maintaining the viability of Welsh farming and in supporting cohesion and development in rural Wales.

In order to understand the impact of forthcoming CAP reform on the agricultural industry, the Welsh Government wished to develop a segmentation model of Welsh farmers’ attitudes, values and beliefs.

The segmentation model enables the Welsh Government to more effectively target communications and policy implementation to the agricultural industry.

We were delighted to have been commissioned to undertake this work on behalf of the Welsh Government, in conjunction with our consortium partners, Databuild and Research Marketing Group. We also drew on the expertise of an advisory panel throughout the project, which comprises representatives from Aberystwyth University, Defra and ADAS.

Our approach drew on the consortium’s experience of segmentation modelling and scenario testing, alongside our knowledge of business behaviours and the farming and food industry. It was broken down into five phases of research:

  • Scoping phase: The research began with a scoping phase, which involved a short literature review to summarise existing research relevant to farmer attitudes, values and beliefs. The sampling strategy for the questionnaire survey was also reviewed during this initial phase.
  • Questionnaire development and survey: The next phase involved a programme of qualitative work, to supplement the findings from the literature review. The insight generated was used to develop a questionnaire survey, which was administered by telephone to provide a representative sample of almost 1,800 Welsh farmers. The survey results were then analysed to provide an overview of farmer attitudes and behaviours across the agricultural sector in Wales.
  • Segmentation modelling: The survey data was also used to develop a segmentation model, to identify distinct groups of farmers who hold similar attitudes. This phase included the development of a ‘segment calculator’ which allows the Welsh Government to predict which segment farmers fit into.
  • Segment characterisation and scenario testing: Once the model was developed, a series of discussion groups were held to characterise each segment in more detail. A second round of discussion groups was then held to explore segment-specific reactions to different CAP reform scenarios and regulatory measures.
  • Reporting: The final stage of the project involved the production of a full report and executive summary, in both Welsh and English.

The segmentation model and scenario testing enables the Welsh Government to identify how different types of farms could be affected by CAP reform and regulatory changes. This will help to identify which farms are most likely to need additional support in order to adapt to any changes. It will also enable the government to develop targeted communications campaigns to engage different types of farmers in regulatory and policy changes.

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