UK farmers situation pressing plea with confidence at all-time low | UK | News | EUROtoday

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A brand new survey printed at present has proven a collapse in farmer confidence, which is now at an all-time low.

The National Famers Union (NFU) Farmer Confidence Survey exhibits that quick and mid-term confidence is at its lowest since information started in 2010.

Because of this insecurity, manufacturing intentions have additionally plummeted with all farming sectors anticipating to lower manufacturing over the following yr.

The relentless moist climate has performed a giant half, with 82% of respondents saying their farm companies have suffered pretty unfavorable (52%) or very unfavorable impacts (30%), with blended farms, arable farms and dairy farms taking the largest hits.

A complete of 797 NFU farmer and grower members had been surveyed between November 21, 2023 and January 5, 2024.

Since then, farmers have been battling relentless heavy rain via January, February, March and far of April, as reported by this newspaper. Were the survey undertaken once more at present, the outcomes could be even worse, the NFU has warned.

NFU President Tom Bradshaw mentioned the figures painted a “really stark picture”.

He mentioned: “Confidence has collapsed after months of devastating flooding, unsustainably high production costs and low market returns, and against a backdrop of reduced farm support as we transition to a new Domestic Agriculture Policy and associated farm support.

“Any business owner knows that without confidence and a steady cash flow, that business will struggle to re-invest and remain viable.

“We have already lost more than 7,000 agricultural businesses since 2019 – no one wants to see that increase, least of all our customers who really value the high quality, sustainable food British farmers produce.

“With climate change wreaking havoc on food systems across the world and geo-political tensions high, Britain cannot afford to lose its ability to feed itself.

“A lot is hanging in the balance ahead of the General Election.

“Political parties will rightly be focusing on how to reverse the cost-of-living crisis, and with food inflation still high and families struggling with food bills, supporting homegrown food production must be part of this.”

He added: “The good news is that there are solutions the current and future governments can adopt to help rebuild farm business confidence, from investment in our water management to developing core production standards for food imports.

“While we are seeing record lows in farmer confidence, I never cease to be amazed by our amazing farmers and growers; their passion, drive and ingenuity for the work we do.

“Innate tenacity means we do not give up easily.

“In the run-up to this election, I urge all political parties to recognise this resilience and the crucial role we play in sustaining our nation.

“With their support, we can do more to contribute towards our national interests – producing more sustainable, affordable food and renewable energy, driving economic growth, providing jobs, and delivering our national environmental ambitions.”

Farm enterprise profitability has additionally fallen with 65% of respondents saying their earnings are declining or their enterprise could not even survive.

The NFU is looking for the Government to recognise the extraordinary nature of what has been the wettest eight months since 1836, warning that many farms could also be unable to outlive.

In its General Election Manifesto, the NFU has supplied options that political events can undertake which might work to reverse this breakdown in farmer confidence and assist safeguard homegrown meals manufacturing, together with:

  • Planning for and rewarding farmers pretty for his or her position in mitigating flood danger and committing to the proactive administration of our watercourses.

  • A easy and seamless transition to new environmental schemes which are open to all farmers and growers, and guarantee worthwhile long-term, food-producing companies.

  • Establishing minimal requirements to advertise a good and functioning provide chain.

  • Developing and establishing core manufacturing requirements that apply to agri-food imports.