26 October 2001

Farmers Club cup to the Daily Mail

THE Daily Mail has been awarded this years Farmers Club Cup after raising more than £5.2m for farmers hit by foot-and-mouth. Announcing the award at the Farmers Club lunch at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, London, on Wed, Oct 24, club chairman Iain McCrone praised the newspapers efforts.

Daily Mail senior consultant editor John Bryant received the award from HRH the Princess Royal, Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers. Before making the presentation, HRH won applause from the audience after praising the high quality of British food production compared with some food imports.

"The high standards of food produced here are not necessarily applied in the places we buy food and controls on imports are sadly lacking," HRH told 200 Farmers Club members. "The difficulties of raising [the publics] awareness of the standard farmers achieve is a legitimate complaint for the farming community." &#42

The Farmers Club and the Worshipful Company of Farmers have an important role to play in bridging the divide between town and country and informing the debate about farm subsidies, HRH continued. "Many seriously wonder what subsidies are for but most accept that it would be difficult or impossible for farmers to exist without them."

Part of the problem is that food is at the end of the transport chain and fuel prices are a common denominator that affect all aspects of rural living, HRH said. "Those who live in urban areas dont see the impact of fuel prices in the same way."

Announcing a new personal commitment in UK agriculture, HRH said: "I have just become a farmer and where I live the most effective answer is to put land into set-aside which I find abhorrent. So Im going into organic farming and Ill tell you in a year or two if it works."