NFU Farmers Drop in 7 June 2023

At the National Farmers Union Drop-In I spoke to people in the farming industry about food security and farming. 

Farmers are having to face rising input costs eg. energy, fertilisers and soil improvers and animal feed.

There is an impact on the dairy sector, livestock and horticulture – a recent report suggested that growers cost of production has increased by as much as 27% in the preceding 12 months with products such as tomatoes ,broccoli, apples and root vegetables most affected. the main drivers are energy, fertiliser and workforce costs.

In the poultry sector, egg production has fallen to its lowest level in 9 years and is down 12%in one year alone. the sector is facing unprecedented energy and feed costs.

I discussed with Minette Batters, the President of the NFU, about food security and farming, and that a culmination of unprecedented events resulted in farmers facing unsustainable pressures on their businesses which could have long-term implications on our domestic food production capacity and food security.  Farm input cost inflation stands at 42% with wholesale energy prices being 1.5 times higher. 

In 2019 there were 149,000 agricultural registered businesses , in 2022 there were 142,000. This means there are 7,000 fewer agricultural businesses in the UK today than in 2019.

Unless there is action from all parts of the supply chain this will lead to a deepening crisis which will lead to many farmers having no option other than to leave the sector. We must act and DEFRA needs to conduct investigations into market issues.