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Positive perceptions of agricultural sector remain strong after Brexit vote – report

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A National Farmers Union campaign urging MPs to back British agriculture after Brexit. Image courtesy op the NFUA National Farmers Union campaign urging MPs to back British agriculture after Brexit. Image courtesy op the NFUAn overwhelming majority of the public are actively supporting the farming sector according to the 2017 results of the Farmer Favourability survey released this week by the NFU.

In the first of these annual surveys since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the NFU has said the findings powerfully demonstrate the public’s strong recognition of British farming’s contribution to the country.

  • 68 percent of people have a favourable or very favourable view of British farming
  • 90 percent think farming is important to the UK economy
  • 89 percent think it is important to have a productive farming industry

The role farming plays in proving safe, traceable food through supply chains independently audited by assurance scheme like Red Tractor has also been recognised by the public.

  • 64 percent trust British food more than the rest of the world
  • 66 percent often or always specifically look for British food when shopping

Government support post-Brexit for the sector is also something the public feels strongly about.

  • 68 percent of the public feel that farmers should receive support to both produce food and look after the environment in equal measure;
  • preserving the countryside (82 percent agree);
  • ensuring reasonable food prices (81 percent agree).

Around three quarters of people agree that farmers should receive assistance towards:

  • protecting the environment and for dealing with climate change (75 percent);
  • for investing in farm businesses for future generations (73 percent);
  • and ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers (73 percent).

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The results of this survey will make for welcome news for the farming sector. It’s clear the public recognise the strategic importance of farming in feeding the country, looking after the countryside and contributing to the economy.

“Public support is vital to the British farming industry. It sends a strong message to the MPs and decision-makers who have a huge opportunity during Brexit negotiations to create a political environment where farming can really thrive.

“This support will be instrumental for the British farming sector in the coming months and years ahead.”