A new campaign to highlight the importance of farming and horticulture to Lincolnshire has been launched by the NFU.
The farming organisation’s ‘Farming Delivers for Lincolnshire’ campaign explains the industry’s role, not just in producing safe, high quality food for the nation, but in caring for the environment, contributing to renewable energy supplies and offering an exciting range of careers in the agri-food industry.
“Lincolnshire is rightly known as the larder of England as we produce huge quantities of wheat, potatoes, sugar beet, pork, poultry products and vegetables,” says NFU’s regional director Richard Hezlet. “But we are also the nation’s florist, growing more than 40 per cent of the country’s cut flowers and bulbs, with a flower packing and distribution industry unrivalled anywhere else in the UK. Our research into farming and horticulture’s place in Lincolnshire’s economy, environment and food production shows just how important agriculture is as an industry and we’ve unearthed some surprising facts too!
“For example, more than 14,500 people are employed directly by our farming businesses, but that figure is more than doubled by the vast numbers of jobs in the ‘upstream’ industries based around our farming production. Increasingly focused on adding value, Lincolnshire’s packers, processors, wholesalers, hauliers, manufacturers and importers service an industry worth more than £1.3 billion at the farm gate and provide a whole network of businesses supporting and supported by farming and horticulture.
“The quality and range of produce we grow and rear in our beautiful county is amazing,” says Richard Hezlet. “And it is the countryside that is at the heart of it all. From the rolling Wolds to the big-skied fens, Lincolnshire’s fertile soils are home not just to farming and horticulture, but to wildlife too. More than three quarters of Lincolnshire’s farmland is cared for in environmental schemes; 7,500 miles of public rights of way wend their way through our fields, and our homes and businesses are protected by a network of 3,450 miles of drains maintained and operated by the Internal Drainage Boards. This vital, interactive web of food production, nature and careful management makes Lincolnshire what it is today.”