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General Election: A Pivotal Moment for UK Farming Sector

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As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls an early general election for 4th July, the UK's farming sector stands at a crossroads. The outcome of this election is poised to significantly influence agricultural policies and practices, affecting food production and rural life for years to come. For Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, a recruitment agency dedicated to the agri sector, this election is particularly momentous, as the policies of the next government will shape the job market and opportunities within the industry.

Election's Impact on Agriculture

The election announcement, made by Mr Sunak in a dramatic rain-soaked speech, has set the stage for a critical decision-making period for the UK's rural and farming communities. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, which currently leads in the polls, has emphasised the need for change, signalling potential shifts in agricultural policy if Labour comes to power.

Countryside campaign groups, including CPRE and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), are calling for bold and ambitious plans from political leaders. The key issues on the agenda include increasing domestic food production, fostering rural economic growth, addressing the housing crisis in the countryside, and tackling rural crime.

Key Concerns for the Farming Community

  1. Domestic Food Production: Ensuring that the UK can produce enough food domestically is a top priority. Policies that support sustainable farming practices, investment in agricultural technology, and support for small and medium-sized farms will be crucial.

  2. Economic Growth: The rural economy is currently about 19% less productive than the national average. Overcoming barriers to economic growth in rural areas is essential. This includes improving infrastructure, increasing access to high-speed internet, and providing financial incentives for agricultural innovation.

  3. Housing and Rural Living: The housing crisis in rural areas affects farm workers and their families. Affordable housing initiatives and policies that encourage young people to live and work in the countryside are vital for the future of farming communities.

  4. Rural Crime: Farmers often face issues such as theft and vandalism. Effective law enforcement and community safety measures are necessary to protect rural livelihoods.

Yellow harvester machinery in a field  harvesting daytime

Industry Leaders Speak Out

Elli Moody, policy director at CPRE, has highlighted the importance of forward-thinking policies that balance today’s priorities with the needs of future generations. Victoria Vyvyan, president of the CLA, stresses the need for a clear and ambitious plan from political parties to support the rural economy. Both organisations agree that the next government must treat rural areas not as a 'museum' but as dynamic and productive regions crucial to the nation’s well-being.

Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association (NSA), welcomes the election as an opportunity to end speculation and provide the farming sector with the stability and direction it needs. He emphasises the necessity for a clear future direction for sheep farmers and the broader agricultural community.

Implications for Agricultural Recruitment

For Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, the election outcome will directly impact the recruitment landscape within the farming sector. A government that prioritises agricultural development and rural support will likely create a favourable environment for job growth and career opportunities in farming. Conversely, inadequate support could exacerbate existing challenges, making it harder to attract and retain talent in the industry.

As the election date approaches, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists will be closely monitoring the political discourse and proposed policies from all major parties. Understanding the potential implications for the agricultural job market will be essential for advising clients and candidates effectively.


The 2024 general election is a pivotal event for the UK's farming sector. The policies and commitments of the next government will shape the future of agriculture, impacting food production, economic growth, and rural communities. For those in the agricultural recruitment field, staying informed and proactive during this period will be key to navigating the changes and leveraging new opportunities that may arise.

As the farming community looks to the future, the hope is that whichever party comes to power will recognise and act upon the vital importance of a thriving, sustainable, and innovative agricultural sector for the UK.

Further Reading

​AgriCulture Live Episode 10 with guest John Giles from Promar International - "Issues Affecting the UK Agri-Food Market"