The latest Total Income from Farming (TIFF) figures from Defra show that farming’s total contribution to the economy has risen to £10.3 billion, an increase of 20 per cent.
The NFU said that farming’s growing contribution to the economy is further evidence that the sector needs to be properly valued by the government post-Brexit. The figures also show that farming’s profitability has increased, albeit from a low base, by 41 per cent, to £5.7bn.
NFU deputy president Guy Smith said: “This is positive news for the farming sector and very clearly demonstrates the significant contribution agriculture makes to the wider economy.
“As the NFU prepares to submit its consultation response to government on a future farming policy, these newly released figures provide further evidence that a new agricultural policy must allow farm businesses to be productive, profitable and progressive.
Mr Smith added: “The increased profitability of our sector is particularly good news, as farmers have experienced a full year of higher commodity prices due to the devaluation of the pound which occurred after the EU referendum.
“It is important to remember that this rise comes after three years of falling profits and margins, and increased price volatility for many across the industry. However, the NFU is concerned whether this performance can be sustained in future years.”