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British Carrot Crisis: Squeezed Margins Force Farmers to Abandon Cultivation

In a concerning development for the agricultural sector, the British Carrot Growers Association (BCGA) has highlighted a significant downturn in the number of farmers willing to cultivate carrots, a staple vegetable cherished across the UK.

This decline is attributed to the increasingly tight profit margins that leave little room for financial viability.

Rodger Hobson, the chair of BCGA and a carrot farmer based in York, has voiced concerns over the challenges faced by carrot growers, including high susceptibility to diseases, steep input costs, and disproportionately low output values.

These factors combine to make the prospect of earning a viable return from carrot cultivation a daunting challenge for many.

In response to this pressing issue, the BCGA is set to launch a new initiative aimed at securing the future of carrot cultivation in the UK. The initiative will be highlighted by the National Carrot Awareness Day, scheduled for October 3, 2024, which aims to encourage the public to purchase, creatively use, and cook with carrots.

The UK produces an impressive 700,000 tonnes of carrots annually, a figure that equates to 70 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, with harvesting taking place year-round.

Despite the tight margins, carrots offer considerable benefits to consumers, including exceptional value for money, versatility in cooking, and high nutritional content. Hobson challenges the British public to find a better value than 6p for a portion of their daily vegetable intake.

The initiative also seeks to differentiate from the International Carrot Day celebrated in the USA on April 4, which does not align with the UK's carrot season. The UK's top carrot growers have thus established their own version of the day, which includes showcasing new varieties, trial plots, and discussions on the future of the sector.

This move by the BCGA and the UK's leading carrot growers underscores a collective effort to reignite interest and support for this crucial part of the British diet, amidst the challenges posed by the current agricultural landscape.


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