29 October 2014
Agricultural statistics for 2013 have been released by the Environment and Economic Development Departments showing mixed results for the year from different sectors of the industry.
Jersey Dairy had a good year in 2013 with the amount of milk sold by farmers to the dairy rising for the first time in three years (up six per cent in 2013).
The increase was driven by growth in the UK marketplace, particularly for UHT milk products such as soft-mix ice cream. In the latter part of the year, new markets were also developed for UHT milk in Hong Kong.
Other areas of agriculture suffered last year, with 2013 being a particularly difficult season for the Jersey Royal industry. One of the worst winters on record brought snow in March, which delayed plantings and meant there was less chance of getting Royals to the supermarkets early.
The difficult 2012/2013 winter and the impact of losing low value consignment relief (LVCR) led to an overall decline in the value of the agricultural industry. Mail order and plug plants were included in the figures for the first time in 2012 but the loss of LVCR in 2012 had a major impact and overall agricultural exports fell from £53.3m to £42.1m in 2013, a loss of £11.2m.
In 2013 there was continuing popularity of local cider and brandy, leading to demand for land to plant apples. The report also shows an increase in the amount of land used to grow potatoes (other than Jersey Royals), which was up by 977 vergées (a 156% rise).
Environmental Management and Rural Economy, Director Dan Houseago, said “The winter of 2013 was by any standards a hard one and that’s reflected in the figures for Jersey Royals. It’s also inevitable that the removal of low value consignment relief has affected agricultural exports.
“However, it’s really encouraging to see a rise in the popularity of cider and brandy from Jersey, and thanks to innovative work at Jersey Dairy, supported by the Department of the Environment and the Economic Development Department, we are seeing a real rise in the demand for Jersey Dairy milk products from around the world, providing the benefit of positively promoting Jersey as a trusted and well regulated jurisdiction, which has knock-on effects for other sectors and the Island as a whole.”