Farming News - British public overwhelmingly recognises the importance of healthy farmers

British public overwhelmingly recognises the importance of healthy farmers

A survey of UK consumers by leading farming charity RABI (April 2024) revealed strong public backing for fair prices and protecting farmers' mental health.


Most of the 1,039 respondents highly supported British farmers, with 90% agreeing that farmers can't be expected to provide food and environmental benefits at the detriment of their mental health.

Recognition for farmers' contributions to the countryside, local economy, and rural community was also high, as was their contribution to national targets on food security, climate, and the environment.

When asked, 'where best should wellbeing support for British farmers come from?' the responses advocated for improved collaboration across society, including the third sector, government, retailers and consumers themselves.  

These respondents, who ranged in age from 17 to 79 and were based in both urban (75%) and rural settings, all held very similar views.

RABI's Chief Executive Alicia Chivers said: "I am heartened by the public's wider recognition of farmers' contributions to society and the collective need to protect our farming peoples' mental health.

"We believe that collaboration is key if we are to make a tangible difference to the health of our farming communities. It's imperative we all work together to develop solutions that present people spiralling into poor mental health. It's reassuring to see the public agreeing that improving access to mental health services for farmers should be a collective effort."

On Wednesday (17 April), RABI will launch its year of Empowering the Worth of Wellbeing of Farming People initiative in Parliament. This year-long activity will detail RABI's key commitments and how they plan to broaden and deepen their engagement with partners to help them design and implement truly preventative support. 

The launch will be supported by social media farming influencers and broadcasters, Tom Pemberton and Rebecca Wilson. Farming Minister, Sir Mark Spencer, will also be in attendance together with invited Parliamentarians and leading figures from agriculture and the third sector.

Alicia added: "We know from the calls we are fielding through our helplines, record take-up of our services, feedback for our regional support teams and from our research we are needed now more than ever. The wellbeing of the farming community is everybody's responsibility and RABI are confident that we have opportunity to help build a future where farming people can be empowered to thrive."