Internet Farm Trade Tops £300 Million
value of farm produce sold over the internet is estimated to have
reached £325 million.
innovative new route for shifting farm goods stems from the burgeoning
number of farmers who are online, according to an NFU survey of
1,000 farmers in England and Wales.
than eight out of 10 farmers have now entered cyberspace, a rise
of a third on just over a year ago when only 62% used the internet
compared to 83% today.
findings of the survey were:
* 10% of farmers who are online now use the internet to trade.
Farm e-trading was unheard of five years ago.
* The average value per farm of internet sales was £13,000.
* 92% of farmers say they anticipate their sales over the internet
rising during 2003.
* The most popular products sold over the internet are farm holiday
cottages and B&Bs.
* The opening up of new markets here and abroad was cited by 86%
as the main reason for using the internet to trade.
the major increase in use of the internet for trading, farmers
still use the internet primarily for gathering information (91%),
banking (46%) and news (36%).
results come just weeks before the launch of the NFU's brand new
website www.nfuonline.com which uses up to the minute content
management technology to deliver a service tailored to individual
farmers' needs including sector-specific information and the latest
President Ben Gill said: "Almost overnight, the internet
has become an integral part of people's lives and farmers are
today's rapidly changing world, up to the minute information is
ever more valuable and no more so than with evolving and detailed
issues like reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
as well as using it for things like accessing information, farmers
have realised that they have a fantastic outlet for selling what
they produce literally at the touch of a button. The boom in internet
sales of farm produce shows that farmers and growers are now firmly
part of the internet generation."