The UK agricultural industry is going from strength to strength in its contribution to economic growth, with new statistics revealing that increased production and prices boosted farming income to £5.6 billion last year.
Total income from farming rose by £743 million - 15%, between 2012 and 2013 - as the industry stepped up its output of top-quality food including potatoes, poultry, milk and barley.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
These figures underline that food and farming really is a powerhouse of the UK economy. From potatoes to poultry, our farming industry is showing that it is leading the way in producing top-quality food that is desired across the world. Our farming sector employs over 400,000 people and their success is helping us deliver the government’s longterm economic plan.
We know British consumers value British food but we want UK farming to be a world-leader, exporting quality products far and wide as well as thriving on the home front. Our push for better food labelling across Europe is just one of a host of ways we are working to help this crucial sector to grow and drive growth.
The new data shows the overall value of livestock and livestock products increased by £1.1 billion to £14.2 billion in 2013. The value of the overall output of crops grew by nearly 5% to £9.4 billion in the same period. This was driven by a 38% increase in the value of the potato crop to just over £1 billion.
Official statistics out today also show the net worth of the sector grew by £27 billion last year to £255 billion, primarily driven by higher land prices.