A study commissioned by the National Farmers Union in the United Kingdom has calculated that the country’s agriculture industry provides a return of $12.07 for every $1.63 invested.
The study was conducted to highlight the importance of U.K. farming as the nation heads into Brexit negotiations to leave the European Union common market.
It marks the first time a monetary value has been calculated for agriculture in the U.K.
The figure was achieved by researchers who weighed the costs of agriculture, such as subsidy payments, soil, water and air costs and greenhouse gas emissions against the value of tourism, renewable energy production, carbon sequestration and habitat and species protection.
It also took into consideration more easily measured contributions such as agriculture’s gross value to the U.K. economy and the sector’s purchase of goods and services.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said the report demonstrates that money invested by government in farming is money invested “wisely.”
Farmers are proud to produce food for a growing population, but also go above and beyond this, playing a huge role in contributing to the wealth and prosperity of the country. Decision-makers in government can take this important message to the formal post-Brexit negotiations.
“For centuries farms have been deeply rooted in the rural community, stimulating the wider economy. Today’s report shows farming spends $25 billion on goods and services.”
Raymond said with farms operating on 70 percent of British land, it is important they remain viable to ensure their economic contributions to the overall economy continue.
Steve Lucas, managing director of Development Economics, which carried out the study on the NFU’s behalf, said the report comes at an important time in the debate around the Brexit negotiations.
“This shows how critical farming is to the country and why the government must prioritize the sector during Brexit negotiations.”