1 min read

Farming's Biggest Problem

Farming's Biggest Problem

Farming, as an industry, has it's fair share of problems. An aging population, long working hours and serious mental health issues, to name but a few.

These are all big problems in themselves but they are a consequence of the biggest issue facing farming which is this:

That is becoming increasingly more difficult for farmers to make money producing food.

But why is this? It's a complex topic, but it can mainly be put down to two factors:

  • We now live in a global world
  • Here in the UK, 90% of consumers regularly buy their food from a supermarket, of which, 65% is controlled by just 4 companies

Put simply, the UK supermarkets have too much power in the supply chain.

Knock on Effects

Ultimately, it is now economically unviable to produce food here in the UK.

Farmers are working longer hours to try and retain profitability but are effectively standing still as margins are continually squeezed. This is leading to increased loneliness, financial worries, talent leaving the industry - all of which is having a huge detrimental effect on farmers' mental health.

So, what can farmers do about it?




Not completely give up on food production, but diversify out of it so as to stabilise the business with additional revenue streams whilst still producing food to feed a growing population.

Agricultures trump card is its ability to combat climate change and there are plenty of environmental schemes in which farmers and landowners can look to boost revenue including:

That's a good place to start but there are plenty of other ways to diversify including:

  • Selling produce direct to the public
  • Horse livery centres
  • Storage containers
  • Agri-tourism
  • Renewable energy
  • Office space
  • Off farm income - fencing contractors, foot trimming etc.
  • Natural capital

The direction you take will depend largely on you and you farm but hopefully that'll give you some food for thought this weekend!

Enjoy it when it comes!