Sowing the seeds of stability: the case for a basic income for farmers, farmworkers and food producers in the UK

4th April 2024

This report draws on four sessions with farmers and growers about their lived experience and research on basic income and the UK farming sector. It outlines the current challenges in UK farming, how a basic income could uniquely meet the needs of farmers and perhaps most importantly, lays out the key areas and big questions the work to date has highlighted that should form the basis of further work.

At a glance:

• The problems faced in UK farming are often underpinned by inadequate incomes for farmers.

• Based on this work so far, it appears that part of the solution could be a basic income for farmers. In this report, using our research into UK farming and evidence on basic income, we identify the ways this policy is particularly fit for purpose.

• The report draws centrally upon interviews with 18 farmers and growers around the potential impact of a basic income on the UK farming sector.

• While in this discussion paper we believe there is a strong case made for a basic income for farmers, it also clearly identifies areas for further work towards the design of the policy, to ensure its effective and equitable implementation.


Basic Income 4 Farmers

Joanna Poulton, Jake Richardson, Kathleen Pollitt

Autonomy team

Cleo Goodman

With support from the Basic Income 4 Farmers team

Dr. Dave Beck, Hamish Evans, Dot Tiwari