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Crop agriculture and arable farming is an important industry in the UK and, being the fourth largest arable producer in the EU, it is no surprise that one quarter of agricultural land in the UK is used to grow crops. Types of agricultural crops in the UK include:
There are over 140,000 people working in the agricultural crops industry and approximately 30,000 business (LANTRA). Cereals make up the largest harvest of crops grown in the UK, with fruit and vegetables coming next and 3% of the land used for growing potatoes. Despite this, the UK is still under 60% self-sufficient in vegetable production and under 10% self-sufficient in fresh fruit (DEFRA). There are a number government schemes and policies in place to increase sustainability, particularly by increasing consumption of fruit and veg.
Whilst most jobs within this industry do not require formal qualifications or degrees, technical roles may require relevant vocational qualifications and experience. Most training is done on the job, but there are great opportunities for those who have special vehicle driving licenses or business management experience. There are a variety of industry-endorsed qualifications available to boost employment prospects.
The crop industry can be affected greatly by both environmental and policy changes and jobs may be adversely affected. However, there is a huge calling for young new entrants into the industry, so there are plenty of opportunities available.