Farming's value to Britain - key facts

Countryside at Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight_42613

Did you know that for every £1 invested in farm support, farming delivers £7.40 back to the economy? 

The iconic British countryside which farmers manage provides the backdrop for visitors from across the world – this tourism is worth over £21billion.

Farming spends £15.3billion on good and services.

Farming also plays an important role in managing the environment of over 70% of the UK’s land area.

Overall, agriculture contributed around £24 billion of revenues and around £8.5 billion of Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2015.

Agriculture provides around 475,000 jobs directly, as well as supporting a further 30,000 jobs through procurement activity benefiting other sectors of the UK economy (ranging from manufacturing, transport and construction through to professional and financial services).

Agriculture plays a vital role providing 61% of the raw materials for the wider UK agri-food industry which is worth around £108 billion of GVA to the national economy and provides over 3.7 million jobs. The agri-food sector as a whole generates around £18 billion of gross export earnings for the UK each year.

Farming plays an important role in managing the environment of over 70% of the UK’s land area. Farmers are responsible for managing both important landscape features and providing habitats for wildlife of local, national and international importance. The overall value of these habitat and species protection services is estimated to be worth around £672 million each year.

The quality of the UK’s farmed landscape provides recreational opportunities enjoyed by millions of people each year. Overall, an estimated 3.7 billion day visits are made by UK resident adults to the countryside each year, and the annual value of these visits (in terms of users’ estimated willingness to pay) is estimated to be worth just over £19 billion per annum.

The countryside is an asset important in attracting overseas visitors to the UK. Visit Britain estimate that about 20% of international visitors visit the countryside during their stays. This tourism is estimated to be worth at least £2 billion per annum to the UK economy.

More than a quarter of a million people visited a farm for Open Farm Sunday in 2016. One in five of these had never visited a working farm before. One in four farms hosted an Open Farm Sunday event for the first time in 2016, showing that increasing numbers of farmers recognise the importance of reaching out to their customers to build trust and understanding in farming.

Facts and figures taken from the Contributions of UK Agriculture Final Report (Feb 2017) - read it here.