The importance of family farms in the UK has been highlighted in a new survey, which celebrates the wider contribution family businesses make to the economy.
New research by Oxford Economics for the Institute for Family Business (IFB) Research Foundation revealed family firms employ over 11.9 million people and make up 87 per cent of all private sector firms in the UK.
The 4.6 million UK family firms generate a quarter of UK GDP.
Farmers lead the way with more than 150,000 family-run firms in the agriculture and extraction sector, making up almost one in 20 of all family businesses in the UK.
Family businesses also account for 96 per cent of all private sector firms in the agriculture and extraction sector - one of the highest concentrations among all sectors in the UK.
The survey showed, among all UK family businesses:
Just under half (49 per cent) aim to grow over the next twelve months
43 per cent intend to invest in improving the skills of their workforce to support growth
A third plan to boost productivity through investing in new machinery and premises
42 per cent of firms are planning to move into new markets and 37 per cent are developing and launching new products and services.
Peter Armitage, chairman of the IFB, said: “The report sheds light on the sheer size and scale of the family business community.
"It’s an important reminder of how vital family-run firms are to the UK – serving as the backbone of our economy, with family firms making a phenomenal contribution across all sectors, industries and regions.
"It’s encouraging to see family firms with such a buoyant attitude towards their future expansion - almost half of family SMEs expect to grow over the next two to three years.”