Farming’s crucial contribution to both the local and global economy was highlighted at this year’s Kent County Show.
By Alex Meacock.
An Institute of Directors’ (IOD) breakfast, ‘Rural Business and Food – and what we can do about it’, aimed to make the wider audience aware of farming and food production’s relevance whilst providing an opportunity to debate issues affecting the sector.
Nigel Baker, chief executive of Pet Industry Federation, highlighted farming’s importance to the sector, revealing that 80 per cent of the raw materials used in pet food manufactured in the UK came from British farmers.
This market contributes about £7 billion to the UK economy and is growing at 2 per cent each year.
The importance of international trade with countries such as China, which is growing at 25 per cent, was also highlighted.
Duncan Cohraine Dyet, Kent managing partner of accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said: “The future of food, farming and the rural sector industries is vitally important to the UK.
“We need a unified approach to ensure the sector is provided with the support it needs and deserves.”
This year the Kent County show celebrated its 90th anniversary with 78,000 people attending, 4,000 more than in 2018.
Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS) held the show at Delting, Kent with the aim of educating the public about Kent’s agriculture and providing family entertainment.
The main ring hosted a wide variety of entertainment which proved popular with the crowds.
Returning favourites included a Spitfire Flypast and The Salvation Army Band and Lamb National Sheep Race.
KCAS chairman James Forknall added: “I was overwhelmed by the kind comments from visitors. I am delighted that our anniversary show was so enjoyable.”