Agriculture in Cumbria
Cumbria is overwhelmingly rural, so it is natural that agriculture makes a vital contribution to the wider Cumbrian economy, not just as a standalone sector but by underpinning other such as tourism, food and drink.
Cumbria’s rural economy has faced numerous challenges in recent times, the most notable being the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak, but it has continued to strengthen and diversify thanks to the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of its businesses and assistance from public sector funding. The UK’s leading animal feed manufacturer BOCM PAULS has a base in Penrith serving markets across Cumbria and the north of England while Carlisle headquartered Lloyd Ltd supplies state-of-the-art equipment to the agricultural sector and others.
Carr’s Milling Industries Plc is a major player in Cumbria’s agricultural sector. The group – which includes Bendall’s Engineering – has several divisional companies involved in the sector; Carrs Billington Agriculture (Sales) Ltd supplies the farming and rural communities with a comprehensive range of agricultural products and services. Carrs Fertilisers supplies the agriculture, forestry and horticulture markets; animal feeds Calyech and SmartLic; and Wallace Oils, which supplies oil, gas and diesel products and services for domestic, agricultural and commercial customers in Carlisle and Cumbria. Carr's Flour Silloth delivers quality flours and unrivalled service to bakers, food manufacturers and retailers.
A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products and its subsidiaries handle over 2m tonnes of green waste, roundwood, chips, sawdust, bark and other timber products each year, collected from forestry sites, sawmills and other wood processing industries throughout Britain. Based near Penrith, the company links forestry, sawmilling, wood processing, building and demolition sectors with the demands of pulp, paper and panel manufacture, energy generation, agriculture and horticulture markets. It is also Britain’s largest biomass trading company, and has been identified as a key-player in Cumbria’s ambitions to become a major generator of renewable energy.
The County’s agricultural sector is vast with scores of farming operations of various sizes. The Rural Regeneration Cumbria programme saw £40m invested in helping farms hit by the Foot & Mouth outbreak to diversify into new areas, in particular tourism – whether it was selling products on the doorstep or converting unused buildings into accommodation to give visitors an authentic experience.