British farmers and individuals working in agriculture are being invited to submit the burning questions they have around consumer attitudes towards the future of the industry. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

With the Agriculture Bill seemingly stalled in Parliament, the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists is commissioning a piece of research to gauge public opinion on some of the key themes proposed in the Bill.

Selected questions will be used in a survey of 2,000 UK residents by Comres, a leading pollster.

The results will be shared with journalists from both farming and mainstream media titles as evidence of what the public cares most about, providing a platform for spokespeople from the industry to comment on the results.

Lack of clarity

BGAJ President Baroness Rosie Boycott said: “There is a huge amount of uncertainty hanging over agriculture due to the lack of clarity farmers have over the way their businesses will have to operate in the future.

“We want this research to showcase how the British public feels about the important themes raised in the Agriculture Bill such as farmers’ environmental work, production standards and post-Brexit trade deals.

“As the Bill still has to complete its passage through Parliament the BGAJ intends to use the findings as a reason to engage further with the mainstream media and help lead the debate with facts.”

Questions suggested so far include:

  • How do taxpayers feel about paying farmers for environmental work?
  • Does the public think productivity of British agriculture is important?
  • Does the public think UK food security could be at risk if we get a bad Brexit deal?
  • Should the Bill ensure imported food meets the same high standards of UK-produced food?

Questions should be sent to the BGAJ Deputy Communications Secretary Ben Pike at by Wednesday, 21 August 2019.