July 19, 2024

Award for Powys research company that ensures rural voices are heard

Powys Business Awards 2023. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography. PB187-2023

Championing the fair representation of rural, regional and rarely heard voices in market, social and policy research has earned a successful Montgomery company a Powys Business Award.

FieldMouse Research Ltd, which has grown from two to 10 staff, since setting up in 2018, collected the Micro Business Award, sponsored by Welshpool Printing Group, at the annual awards ceremony held at The Hafren, Newtown on Friday, October 20.

Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors, the coveted annual awards, which began in 2009, are open to companies, organisations, social enterprises and charities.

Sarah Morris co-founded FieldMouse with Paul Flatters, having moved from London and recognising that the research industry was excluding rural opinions from fieldwork, the outputs of which can influence public policy.

The company’s client list includes the UK’s leading independent research businesses, such as Ipsos, Think Insights & Strategy and Blue Marble Research.

“FieldMouse is the only fieldwork agency in the UK which actively advocates the fair inclusion of rural voices in market research and we are proud that our heartland is in Powys, one of the most under-researched counties of the UK,” said Sarah.

The company has recruited and hosted several focus groups of farmers and residents in Welshpool and undertaken a debt and poverty project in Newtown. In 2021, it launched Opinion Harvester, an exclusive panel of UK farmers who are paid for their opinions on important issues affecting the future of farming.

In August and September this year alone, FieldMouse paid more than £50,000 in incentives to participants taking part in their clients’ research projects.

The innovative company’s next development is CATIMouse, a virtual agri-research unit providing telephone surveys of farmers and rural communities, which will provide home-based, flexible work in Powys and other rural areas.

“We believe that through making sure farmers’ stories are told, and that rural voices generally are heard, we can help to bridge the gap between city and countryside and between consumers and the custodians of the land that feeds us,” added Sarah.

Responding to the award, she said: “It’s the most amazing feeling to win this award in Powys where we started the company and now we are nationwide. I don’t think many market researchers had been to Powys to do fieldwork before we set up the business.

“Now we are bringing researchers into rural Powys to ensure that the voices of residents are heard.”

Powys Business Awards judges said: “The team showed excellent and outstanding achievements in all aspects of their business. Their passion for their work, strong growth, innovation and leadership, as well as a clear vision, make them worthy winners.”

The award runners up were Waggon and Horses, Newtown and Advantage Automotive Ltd, Presteigne.

Picture caption:

FieldMouse Research co-founder Sarah Morris (holding the award) pictured with colleagues and Alison Jones (far right) from Welshpool Printing Group, sponsor.