Growers and farmers express gratitude to UK public for getting behind farmers as they mark Back British Farming Day

Back British Farming Day takes place today (13 September)

Back British Farming Day takes place today (13 September)

The NFU has issued a “massive thank you” to the public for their support of Britain’s farmers and growers as it marks Back British Farming Day (BFFD) today (13 September).

The farming union’s message of thanks comes as a recent NFU-commissioned study reveals that farming is considered by the British public as one of the country’s most important and well-respected professions, second only to nursing.

In a OnePoll online survey of 2,000 adults in England of Wales between 30 May to 6 June, of 10 occupations, farmers ranked second in favourability with 47 per cent of respondents – up from 4th in 2022, the NFU said. Nursing ranked number one with 65 per cent of respondents. 

The online poll also revealed that 90 per cent of respondents felt farming is important to the UK economy, while 81 per cent agreed that British farms should grow as much food as they can to provide national food security, and 87 per cent supported increasing self-sufficiency in UK food production.

Speaking on Back British Farming Day, NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is heart-warming to know the public really value the work we do in producing fantastic homegrown food. This food underpins the British food and farming sector and is worth more than £100 billion to the national economy, all while protecting and enhancing our iconic landscapes. As these survey results show, the public really appreciate what Britain’s farmers and growers do day-in, day-out. 

“We really have some of the most forward-thinking, productive and innovative farmers and growers working across our sector. Despite the challenges being faced by everyone this year, we are still doing what we do best – producing great tasting British food. On this Back British Farming Day, we appreciate this public support more than ever and want to say a massive thank you to everyone.”

Today’s BFFD celebrations started in Westminster with a breakfast reception at the House of Commons. More than 100 MPs were expected to attend, where they were given a wheatsheaf pin badge, now an emblem of the day, to wear during Prime Minister’s Questions to show their support.

Batters added: “The public backs our calls for government to prioritise homegrown food production and legislate to ensure the UK’s self-sufficiency does not drop below its current level of 60 per cent.

“We’ve had everything thrown at us over the past 18 months – soaring production costs, global market instability caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, extreme bouts of weather and significant delays to farm payments. The empty shelves we’ve seen this year speak for themselves; we need to be producing more of our food here.

“Now is the time to ensure those policies are in place to support the production of quality, climate friendly, homegrown food. As we’ve said before, government has statutory targets for the environment – why can’t food production have the same status?

“Fundamentally, investing in domestic food production means we can increase our productivity, create more jobs and deliver much more for the economy and for the environment.

“We know we have huge public support – we now just need our politicians to also back British farming like never before.”