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Why farming matters to the recovery and future of the UK


The NFU has launched the latest in its Why Farming Matters series ahead of the 2010 party conference season.

The Recovery: Why Farming Matters shows how farming, and the sectors it supplies, is central to the UK economy and fundamental to the countrys future wellbeing.

Launching the document, NFU President Peter Kendall said: “This is more than just a feelgood story about farming in the 21st century. Its a reminder to politicians of all parties that Britain’s farms are at the heart of the challenges this country faces, not least the need for economic recovery.

When I hear senior politicians talk about the need to re-balance our economy, when I hear the Energy Secretary announce that the era of cheap energy is over, and the Prime Minister talk about the need for people to come together and work together to pull Britain out of the doldrums, Im happy to hold up farming as an example of answers in action.

Were talking about a food and drink manufacturing sector that contributes 23bn in gross value added to the economy – our farms are a crucial part of the food chain. We’re talking about a rural economy that turns over some 300bn a year and employs 5.5 million people – and farmings at the centre of that economy. Were talking about a sector which doesn’t only feed our population, but can help fuel our cars and power the national grid. And, not forgetting the environment, were talking about over 6 million hectares of land under active environmental management, with farmers across England and Wales playing their part to maintain our landscapes, protect our water resources and enhance our biodiversity.

The online version of The Recovery: Why Farming Matters will be available online at from Friday. Hard copies will be distributed at party conferences. PDFs are available now. Please email

The NFU will be holding fringe events at all three main party conferences:

  • Liberal Democrat Conference Fringe Event – Tate Liverpool – 6pm Monday September 20.
  • Labour Party Conference Fringe Event – Palace Hotel, Manchester 6.30pm Monday September 27.
  • Conservative Conference Fringe Event – Crowne Plaza, Birmingham 6.30pm Monday October 4.

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