15 March 2001
Welcome for Prince’s 500k gesture

By FWi staff

FARM charities have described a 500,000 donation by the Prince of Wales as a very important gesture for the industry.

The donation shows how serious the situation is for farmers, said Nicholas Bond, spokesman for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

He told FARMERS WEEKLY: “The gesture which the Prince of Wales has made will help to highlight the need for help.”

RABI is one of six charities set to benefit from the donation. The others include the Samaritans and the Rural Stress Information Network.

Prince Charles is believed to have told agriculture minister Nick Brown of his intentions during a private meeting on Wednesday (15 March).

Mr Bond said over the past three weeks of the foot-and-mouth crisis the number of phone calls from farmers to RABI had increased steadily.

But despite this, the charity still had substantial funds to help livestock farmers caught up by foot-and-mouth, he stressed.

“We have been getting some very large lump sums, both from individuals and trusts, and also a lot of small donations from a cross-section.”

Don Curry, chairman of the Meat and Livestock Commission, also applauded the move, which he said would provide support for families most in need.

With farm incomes at their lowest levels for decades, families were finding foot-and-mouth movement restrictions to be the final straw, he said.

“These families are experiencing unprecedented difficulties and stress, which most of us can only imagine,” he added.

The donation from Prince Charles is believed to constitute all of last years profits from his Duchy Originals range, plus an additional 100,000.

The Prince has already expressed his concern about the risk of farmers affected by the outbreak taking their own lives.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage