Farmers’ stock grows as public backs sector

A new survey shows that the vast majority of people in Yorkshire support British farmers.
A new survey shows that the vast majority of people in Yorkshire support British farmers.

The number of people in Yorkshire backing British farming has increased for the fifth year running, according to a NFU-commissioned survey.

The NFU said the results underline how valuable the farming sector is to this country.

According to the research, an overwhelming majority of respondents actively support farming, with 71% saying they have a favourable or very favourable view of British farmers - an 8% since 2012.

The survey also revealed that 93% of people think farming is important to the economy and 94% think it is important to see a productive farming industry.

A large majority – 82% –think farmers have a very or fairly beneficial effect on the countryside, the highest figure since this question was first asked in 2013.

The survey also asked the public what they thought of farm support payments to farmers. 65% of respondents agreed that farmers should continue to receive this support – an increase of 7% since 20121.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Public support is extremely important to the British farming industry.

“To see the figures on public support for our sector increase year after year reassures me that there is a bright future for farmers in this country.

“The survey results show that 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 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.

“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.”