Brexit Uncertainty Causes Farmer Confidence to Fall

Farmers’ confidence for the next three years has taken a significant knock, with a National Farmers Union (NFU) survey showing an 18-point drop in mid-term confidence in the last two years

Meurig Raymond, NFU President said, “Farmer confidence is absolutely critical to the future of a profitable and productive food and farming sector. In such a period of uncertainty politically, we need politicians to fully understand the impact this lack of clarity is having economically.

“The outlook from farmers is positive for the next 12 months due to the weak sterling, but we all know farming businesses are long-term and cannot rely on currency fluctuations. The Government elected later this week will need to take firm action to maximize on the future potential of British food and farming. We need a competent and reliable workforce, a fit for purpose domestic agricultural policy and the right trade deals. And to address this debilitating uncertainty, they need to give the industry as many assurances as possible.”

Investment intentions - which are also a good and early indicator of profitability, production and how progressive farmers can be – showed farmers were nearly twice as likely to be decreasing investment (20.1 per cent) as a result of the EU referendum than increasing investment (10.7 per cent) in the next 12 months.

He added, “Investment in farming businesses is integral to our ability to produce food efficiently and sustainably, ensuring food security and farming’s huge contribution to the health and wealth of the nation.

“With just 10 per cent willing to increase investment in their business, it does not paint a pretty picture for the progressive industry that we are striving to be. But this is exactly why we’ll be working closely with the newly elected team at Defra, to ensure that investment is a key part of a new domestic agricultural policy.”

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