There are plenty of reasons why you might recognise British farming as a good thing – the luscious green strips of land that cover the land like a patchwork quilt, the sight of newborn lambs cuddling up to their mums and the smell of manure that makes you think, ‘it smells so bad that it must be doing some good’ – to name a few. Whilst these are all things you’d probably be hard pressed to want to see the back of, (okay, maybe not so much on that last one…) you’d certainly miss it if it one day, it wasn’t there. No more green fields cultivated by farmers (such as our pal Rally at Purton House Organics farm, above), no more lambs idly hopping around (or Purton pigs, below) and no more of that lovely manure enriching the soil and encouraging crops to grow.
Sound a little dramatic? Three quarters of Britain is farmland, cared for by generations of farmers. It’s these farmers who do the job of looking after our land and have created some of the most beautiful landscapes in the process. Yet current rates from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) suggest that just 53% of the nation’s food will be produced on UK farms in the next 25 years.
The farming and food sectors provide more than 3.5 million jobs and agriculture’s contribution to the economy increased by 67% in the UK between 2007 and 2013 – when the nation was hit hard by the recession. There’s fantastic food being produced in Britain that undeniably tastes better with the seasons. With 86% of shoppers wanting to buy more traceable food that has been produced on British farms, according to the NFU, it looks like you agree too. So the next time you pour milk into your tea, or butter your toast, try to remember how our land is a vital asset, and so are our farmers who look after it.
Want to know more about backing British Farming? The National Farmers’ Union is working with two-Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge on ‘Great British Food Gets My Vote’, a project which is aims to get the next Government to put British food and farming at the centre of the next government agenda. Find out more at votebritishfood.com