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Farming Industry Should Engage With Public, U.K. Study Shows

The U.K. agricultural industry should work to build more direct relationships with consumers, protect farmland biodiversity and improve public access to green areas, according to a study commissioned by the Oxford Farming Conference.

Public opinion toward farming has improved in recent years, while many consumers are uninformed about where their food comes from, according to the study released today by e-mail from the nonprofit research group. Farming was considered “important for the U.K. economy as a whole” by 85 percent of respondents in a YouGov-Cambridge survey in 2012, while 72 percent said they know little or nothing about the sector, according to the report.

The total value of farming to U.K. society cannot be determined because it includes many diverse economic, environmental and social factors, according to the study, conducted by researcher Vision 37 and professors from the University of Exeter and the University of Worcester.

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