Study reveals better consumer perception of farming
Published:  02 October, 2014

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has welcomed the results of a survey which shows that 90% of people believe farming is important for the country’s economy.

The latest OnePoll survey, commissioned by the NFU, reports that 90% of people think farming is “fairly” or “very” important to the economy, while 67% of people think highly of farmers – a 5% increase since 2012.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said he was “extremely pleased” to have received these results, especially in the wake of the recent badger cull, which has been met with fierce opposition from animal welfare groups.

“Seeing that more and more members of the public are thinking positive things about farming is fantastic. Maintaining and enhancing a positive image of farmers and farming is hugely important.

“We were particularly pleased to see that 90% of people think farming is important to the economy. Agriculture’s contribution to the economy increased by 67% between 2007 and 2013 and it’s great that the public have noticed this.  

“Many of our farmers work in very rural areas in an isolated way, but the work they do affects the everyday lives of British people. It’s heartening that shoppers are not only aware of the farming sector, but are consciously making the right decisions to back British farming,” Raymond added.

Meanwhile the study showed 79% of people consider the farming industry to be a “professional” one, with this statistic rising to 92% among the over-65 age group.

Farmers are going “the extra mile” to get the public involved in farming – for example ‘open farm Sundays’ and school visits – which Raymond said was making all the difference to the public’s perception.