For the first time farming’s contribution to the country has been expressed in monetary value. The NFU President said this will highlight to government the positive economic, social and environmental impact of the sector just weeks before Article 50 is triggered.
Steve Lucas, managing director of Development Economics, said: “This is an important moment in the debate around EU negotiations. For the first time we have calculated the total contribution of agriculture to the UK economy and society. This shows how critical farming is to the country and why the government must prioritise the sector during Brexit negotiations.”
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “This report demonstrates well that money invested by government into UK farming is money invested wisely. With the right trade and labour conditions, this sector could deliver an even greater return to the country.
“Farmers are proud to produce food for a growing population, but also go above and beyond this, playing a huge role in contributing to the wealth and prosperity of the country. Decision-makers in government can take this important message to the formal post-Brexit negotiations.
“For centuries farms have been deeply rooted in the rural community, stimulating the wider economy. Today’s report shows farming spends £15.3billion on good and services. Businesses providing animal feed, crop seeds and vets, to name a few, all depend on productive and profitable farms for custom.
“The iconic British countryside which farmers manage provides the backdrop for visitors from across the world – this tourism is worth over £21billion. With farms operating on 70% of British land, we must ensure these farms are viable businesses in order to carry on delivering this.
“With this report, we can look at the economic impact agriculture has already made. But it’s clear that farming, and with that, food, could have a very different path carved for its future – and it will be up to government to do this in the formal negotiations.
“To increase the vital contribution farming makes to the economic, social and environmental well-being of the UK, government must ensure we have the best possible trade deals, access to a competent and reliable workforce and farm support that is fit for purpose.
“A future domestic agricultural policy has got to work for Britain.”
Top #NFU17 content
- Get all the news from #NFU17 - visit our Conference Hub
- NFU17: Three key priorities for dairy
- NFU17: A changing world for livestock
- NFU17: Crop protection dominates cereals session
- NFU17: the future of the beet crop
- Liam Fox to receive British food hamper sent from NFU Conference
- NFU17: Videos - mapping the brave new world
- NFU17: 'Produce' workshop embraces innovation
- NFU17: Making the most of the tenant sector post Brexit
- NFU17: Working together for an organic future
- NFU17: Next generation paves the way
- NFU17: Horizon-scanning for the environment
- NFU17: Striking a good deal for the uplands
- NFU17: Paving the way for Welsh agriculture
- NFU17: Farming's 7:1 return on investment revealed
- NFU17: 'Consume' workshop explores trends
- NFU17: Delegates get a worldwide take on our post-Brexit future
- NFU17: Contract check service will save members time and money
- NFU17: Picture highlights of day one
- NFU17: Post-Brexit deals - action must start now
- NFU17: 75% bridging payment WILL be available, says Leadsom
- NFU17: 'Give farmers a more certain future,' NFU urges SoS
- NFU17: Conference spotlight for post-Brexit trade and investment
- NFU17: Agri research vital for farming's future, says report
- NFU17: Watch the opening video