Shropshire Star

NFU to raise massive economic value of Shropshire farms at county show

The NFU will call for family farms to be supported and their significant contribution to jobs, the economy and rural tourism to be recognised and properly valued at tomorrow's Shropshire County Show.


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Farming leaders will attend the one-day industry showcase and call for commitments on county food production which plays a key role in contributing more than £400 million to Shropshire’s economy.

There are 3,873 farm holdings in Shropshire, supporting more than 10,000 jobs directly on farm, not including the wider supply chain and associated rural businesses. This food producing land is spread across nearly 640,00 acres, which is an area more than 70 times larger than Shrewsbury.

While the county’s stunning landscape, much of which has been managed and maintained by farmers and their families for generations, also generates significant income in terms of rural tourism.

According to Visit Shopshire the county welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year, generating more than £767 million into the local economy and supporting nearly 8,500 jobs.

Farmers will be at Shropshire Show with senior officeholders including NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader calling for firm commitments after it was revealed that confidence levels in the industry were at their lowest level since 2010.

NFU Midlands regional director Robert Newbery said: “Shropshire heavily relies on the farming community to produce great-tasting sustainable food as well as benefiting the environment and boosting the local rural communities and the economy all year round.

“The value of crops harvested, milk produced and livestock reared can’t be underestimated, and it is all thanks to the hard work of our county farmers, growers and their families and staff."

Robert Newbery, NFU

“The wet weather over the winter and spring has caused unprecedented issues with the addition of on-going labour shortages and rising production costs and I’m looking forward to discussing what more we can do to ensure our farms are supported both now and in the future. We will do all we can with a General Election looming to ensure our farming families and their businesses remain productive, profitable and progressive."

Shropshire county chair Graham Price, who farms livestock near Ludlow, said: “We are proud to produce high quality, healthy food for people to eat and enjoy and we are all committed to the highest standards of food production, animal welfare while also enhancing the farmed environment.

“Our farms are helping to drive sustainability, we make a fundamental contribution to our economy and we can also offer many solutions to the climate change challenge but we need to see short-term support as well as future commitments.

“I’m thankful for how county shoppers have continued to show their support and appreciation for what we do and now we need to see our politicians from all parties value and back the production of home-grown food and our family businesses.

“I am hoping that Shropshire Show helps us set the agenda for discussions as we head into a crucial time both on farm and politically.

“Our county farms need support during the most turbulent of times and the NFU will do its utmost to try and win a better future for our family farming businesses.”

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