UK farming contributed approximately £6.8 billion to our economy in 2008. It uses around three quarters of this country's land area, and employs around half a million people. (Source Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2008).
Farming makes a huge contribution to our rural economy and to our way of life. It is also key to two of the greatest global challenges we face, food security and climate change. One of Defra’s major tasks is to help this vital industry contribute fully towards meeting these challenges; enabling farmers to care for the land, produce efficiently and sustainably and with high animal welfare standards. We also administer support policies agreed in Brussels which provide around £3 billion to UK agriculture.
Farmer advice and support at Business Link
Defra has launched a new dedicated Farming section on Business Link. It currently contains plain English guides on livestock, crops, organics and agricultural wages & tenancies. During 2009 this will expand to offer a complete range of guidance, information and online tools for farm businesses.
Plant health, seeds and varieties, GM crops and industrial crops, also updates on the EU regimes covering cereals, rice, fodder and sugar.
The health and welfare, identification and movement of farm animals.
- Environmental management
Land management, landscape features, and land use and planning, common land, rights of way, climate change, air and water and water courses. Plus, further information on the Agricultural Change and Environment Observatory Programme.
- Organic farming
Organic certification and standards as well as guidance on funding and converting to organic systems.
- Waste and resources
Key issues for farmers and land managers including fly-tipping, landfill, incineration, composting, sewage and slurry, packaging, recycling and energy efficiency.
- Wildlife and plants
Wild birds, protected plants, pest control, bats, badgers and other species.
- Working in farming
Employment and wages, training, new entrants, tenancies, diversification, health and safety and the Women's Land Army..
- Retail and trade
Farm shops and farmers markets, import and export of plants, animals and animal products.
- Single Payment Scheme
CAP Reform, Farm Regulation and Charging Strategy, the sustainable farming and food strategy, the Farming for the Future Programme, and the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI).
- Whole Farm Approach (WFA) - a faster and more efficient way of doing business between government and the farming industry.
- Contacts and dialogue
Farming Link; contact points
- Horticulture - horticultural production and marketing, potatoes and hops.
- Food and drink - milk and milk products, eggs, meat and poultry sectors.
Page last modified: 9 July 2009