Find Agriculture expertise in United Kingdom
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries together contribute 1% of the UK’s GDP (2010), account for 71.6% of land use and employ around 1% of the population. UK farming involves the use of advanced technological equipment, requiring only a few people to run a huge farm of thousands of hectares. There is virtually no subsistence farming in the UK and dairy, arable and hill or livestock farming make up the main body of commercial farming. The main agricultural produce is cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables, cattle, sheep and poultry. The USA, France, Germany, Spain and Ireland are major markets for UK agri-food and drink exports. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) identifies China as a growing market for UK agricultural produce particularly breeding pigs and high quality quintessentially British products, such as Scotch whisky and malt drinks. Defra is the responsible government department in the agricultural sector for England. Similar devolved bodies are in place in Wales and Scotland, and in Northern Ireland the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for the sector. Defra works with numerous other bodies which regulate various activities linked to farming and rural affairs including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Agricultural Wages Board.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) ranks the UK 35th out of 144 countries worldwide in relation to its balanced agricultural policy costs with a score of 4.3 out of 7, above the world average. Defra’s Rural Statement 2012 outlines three key areas for development, which are: economic growth – ensuring that rural businesses contribute sustainably to growth; rural engagement – improving links between government and rural communities; and quality of life – fair access to public services for rural people. Defra identifies further collaboration with the private sector as being essential to combating worldwide food shortages. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is an important body in the sector which works to support meat and livestock production as well as milk, potatoes, cereals and oilseeds. In total AHDB represents around 75% of total agricultural output in the UK. It supports several development programmes and initiatives including the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (GHGAP) and the Green Food Project.
|Agriculture organisations in United Kingdom|
|Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)||
|Department of Agriculture and Rural Development||