Increased backing for British farming

The number of people supporting British farming has increased for the fifth year in a row, according to a National Farmers’ Union (NFU) commissioned survey from OnePoll. 

“The public support is extremely important to the British farming industry – a message which won’t go unnoticed to politicians and retailers,” said NFU president Meurig Raymond. “To see the figures on public support for our sector increase year after year reassures me there is a bright future for farmers in this country.

“The survey results show the public does understand the importance of farming to the economy as the bedrock of this sector; the food and farming industry is the biggest manufacturing sector and the fact that people are noticing how vital this is is a massive asset to us, as farmers. And the recent farming crisis has demonstrated the importance of financial support to farming; clearly this has been understood by public.”

Farming views in figures
• 69% of the British public claim to have a favourable or very favourable view of British farmers – a 9% rise since 2012
• 92% believe farming is important to the economy – with 91% saying it is important to see a productive farming industry
• 77% say farmers have a fairly beneficial or very beneficial effect on the countryside – the highest figure since the question was first asked in 2013
• 68% think farmers should continue to receive support payments – an 11% increase since 2012

Raymond said the statistics were a “testament” to the farming industry. According to the union president, over a quarter of a million people visited farms across the country for open days to communicate to the public about their work as part of Open Farm Sunday. “Without this event and the positive attitude from farmers, many thousands of people may not be active supporters of our sector,” commented Raymond.

“Naturally, the public are interested in what they eat. At the NFU we ensure the farm-to-fork message is heard loud and clear by people from all walks of life – urban, rural, younger, older. And this public awareness of farming’s value to both the countryside and the economy adds strings to our bow when lobbying in Westminster and Brussels.

“On top of the OnePoll statistics, we have more than 26,000 registered ‘Back British Farming’ campaign supporters. This proves to be a fantastic base of people primed to learn about how they can further their support for our sector.

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