Farmers in favour with North West folk
An independent survey, commissioned by the NFU, revealed that 77 per cent of people in the North West region think of farmers favourably or very favourably, up from 69 per cent in 2009. And with a growing demand for food as the world population grows, 88.5 per cent of people also agree that farming will be more important in the future.
The importance of food security, quality produce and animal welfare are just some of the reasons cited by the people of the region for why they think farming matters.
As recent months have shown, with fluctuating weather and Russia’s ban on wheat exports, British farming has played a pivotal role in ensuring that high quality food is produced.
The Public Perceptions of Farmers and Farming survey is carried out by England Marketing. It surveys 1,002 people online across England and Wales.
NFU North West Regional Director, Robert Sheasby, said: “It may surprise you to know that the North West is the largest food producing region in England and Wales. Overall, the agriculture and food processing sectors generate an impressive 12% of the region’s income. To put that into pounds and pence, that’s a colossal £9.5 billion – £1 billion of which comes directly from farming.
“One thing our survey tells us is that people believe farmers have many key roles, both for agriculture and the environment, but their highest priority for us is to produce food and to look after our animals to the highest standards. The reality is more and more we should be doing both while producing more and impacting less. We must continue to meet the growing demand for food and ensure we take the favourability of our customers with us; we need every available tool at our fingertips.
“Farming will become increasingly important in the coming years, but don’t just take my word for it; 88.5 per cent of those people surveyed in the North West agree.”