Farming gives UK economy £8.6bn boost

Farmers have battled through poor weather over the past few years to increase the industry's contribution to the UK economy according to the National Farmers Union. 


Britain's farming sector has defied the recession in recent years by contributing an additional £8.6bn to the UK economy, according to research published on Tuesday.


The study, released on the first day of the National Farmers Union's annual conference, shows UK agriculture's contribution to the economy increased by 54pc between 2007 and 2012.


The report, titled Backing the Business of British Farming, also claims that food and drink is now the UK's fourth-largest export sector, having grown by 2.5pc in the first half of 2013.


NFU president Peter Kendall is expected to give further details of the report's findings in his opening conference speech in Birmingham.


Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Kendall said: "The achievements shown in this report prove that farming has been delivering for Britain's economy despite the challenges thrown at us over the past couple of years - heavy rain, drought, unseasonable snow and in recent weeks we have all seen the impacts of flooding across the country.


"We are growing businesses. We are creating jobs. If the Government is looking for a sector to kick-start growth and rebalance the economy then they should start by looking at agriculture."


The report found that agriculture contributed an additional £8.6bn more to the UK economy between 2008 and 2012 than it did from 2003 to 2007

26th February 2014

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