What a farmer’s re­ally worth

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

THE UK’S or­ganic-food mar­ket is in its fifth year of strong growth and is now worth more than £2 bil­lion, says a new Soil As­so­ci­a­tion (SA) re­port. Sales of or­ganic pro­duce, es­pe­cially in the health-and-beauty sector, rose by 7% last year, with su­per­mar­kets ac­count­ing for 69% and the num­ber of farm­ers ap­ply­ing for SA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion up by 13%.

How­ever, there’s room for fur­ther growth; Bri­tish or­ganic pro­duce is seen as ‘the best that you can pos­si­bly buy’, es­pe­cially in the Far East, USA and Europe, yet the UK rep­re­sents only 4% of the global or­ganic mar­ket. That said, nearly half of all SA li­censees are ex­porters, to the value of £250 mil­lion.

This news comes at the same time as the NFU’S an­nounce­ment that, for ev­ery £1 in­vested in farm sup­port in this coun­try, the in­dus­try de­liv­ers £7.40 back to the econ­omy —this is the first time that farm­ing’s con­tri­bu­tion has been ex­pressed in terms of cold, hard cash and ‘dem- on­strates well that money in­vested by Gov­ern­ment into UK farm­ing is money in­vested wisely,’ says NFU Pres­i­dent Meurig Ray­mond.

‘Farm­ers play a huge role in con­tribut­ing to the wealth and pros­per­ity of the coun­try,’ he con­tin­ues. ‘[They spend] £15.3 bil­lion on goods and ser­vices… and the iconic Bri­tish coun­try­side that farm­ers man­age [they op­er­ate on 70% of Bri­tish land] pro­vides the back­drop for vis­i­tors from across the world—this tourism is worth over £21 bil­lion.’

He adds: ‘De­ci­sion-mak­ers in Gov­ern­ment can take this im­por­tant mes­sage to the for­mal postbrexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.’

In ad­di­tion, at last week’s NFU An­nual Con­fer­ence, a new re­port, Feed­ing the Fu­ture, Four Years On, was launched, which iden­ti­fies sev­eral in­no­va­tions that will en­able Bri­tish agri­cul­ture to boost its com­pet­i­tive­ness, re­silience and prof­itabil­ity—vi­tal read­ing in the run-up to trig­ger­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 (see page 33 ).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.