Farm Stay UK was established in 1983 as The Farm Holiday Bureau, with 23 local groups, through the leadership and support provided by ADAS (then fully financed by MAFF), the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), the National Tourist Boards (inc. the BTA), and the Farmer's Weekly.
It still works closely with the founding bodies and currently has over 1200 members co-ordinated in 94 groups across the UK. Its regions are similar to those of the eight RDAs within England (ex. London) plus one each for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Farm Stay UK is a farmer owned consortium, registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act. The main objective is to market more effectively the accommodation provided by its members thus helping increase occupancy rates and incomes.
Farm Stay UK is the market leader in its field, recognised for its innovation and success within the tourism industry at home and abroad. Quality is regarded as fundamental and all properties must be inspected under the National Tourist Boards accommodation classification and grading schemes.
Farm Stay UK was also among the first to promote it's members' services and facilities through the Internet and currently operates a very powerful and productive website.
The company finances its entire operation through membership fees boosted, wherever possible, by income from sponsorship or advertising.
A national membership organisation, run by a Board with 12 Regional Directors plus a Chairman, and managed by a Chief Executive with 3 staff from the Head Office at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh.
Members have the chance to meet together at the Annual Conference/AGM whilst each region meets separately in spring and autumn. Local groups meet more often depending upon requirements.
The primary functions are:
Farm Stay UK has won two prestigious since 2000.
The Tourism Society Award given on the authority of the Council of the Society to organisations or individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the development of tourism in the United Kingdom.
Operating as a farmers marketing consortium since 1983 and the award acknowledged that Farm Stay UK has:
"Succeeded in forging a self-help co-operative of small businesses in the rural economy which have integrated tourism and farming interests at the local level. Throughout this period it has provided a high quality and friendly personal service and promoted the use of local produce and suppliers. Visitors travelling for business and social reasons as well as those on holiday have appreciated these features and they have contributed to one of the most sustainable forms of tourism."
Farm Stay's Chief Executive at the time, Nigel Embry said "Bearing in mind the extremely difficult circumstances faced by the industry over the past nine months, to receive this award was particularly satisfying and will do a great deal to boost the morale of the many farmers who rely so heavily on tourism income to support their livelihoods. There could be no better way to approach a new year than in the knowledge that ones peers and colleagues have expressed their support in such a positive way". (Andy Woodward took over as Chief Executive of Farm Stay in January 2008).
The Tourism Catey honours one person or a team of people who have made an outstanding contribution to the standards of tourism in the UK.
"In 2002 the winner was Farm Stay UK, a marketing consortium of farm accommodation providers. At the end of a dreadful year for rural businesses, this was a special award for resilience. The organisation had had the foresight to constantly upgrade its marketing strategies long before the foot-and-mouth epidemic struck and threatened its survival."
Our members are always pleased to receive comments on your stay, many keep a visitors book for the purpose. Should you be unhappy with any aspect of your stay, it is always preferable to raise the issue with your host directly so that it can be dealt with immediately and rectified at once.
If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction then please write to as at the address shown below. Farm Stay UK will then implement their company complaints procedure to resolve the matter concerned.
Farm Stay UK Ltd
National Agriculture Centre