Head of the Vineyard Group
The 2019 AgriFrance Rural Report offers a unique insight into the differences - and similarities - between the farming industries and land markets in France and the UK.
Farming and land values
Agricultural land in the United Kingdom occupies 17.3 million hectares, versus 26 million hectares in France.
Although the populations of both countries are roughly equal, there are half as many farms in Britain as in France.
France has a greater proportion of arable land than the UK, where 65% of the land area is accounted for by grassland.
Average farmland values in the UK are two to three times higher than in France.
Forestry and woodland covers only 13% or 3.1 million hectares of the total UK land area, compared with 30% in France or 17 million hectares.
Great Britain’s wine industry is going through a rapid period of growth and is attracting a great deal of attention.
However, in terms of scale, there are currently only a few thousands hectares of vines planted, compared to 786,000 hectares in France.
In France, the average price of wine-growing land is close to €144,000 per hectare, although there are noticeable differences between regions and appellations.
There is a shortage of land suitable for vine-growing in the UK which means land can attract premium prices.
However, many wine producers prefer to rent land on 30-year leases or enter into a joint venture partnership agreement with the landowner.