Prince Charles has helped raised more than £0.5m for British farmers affected by foot-and-mouth.
The Prince has donated £100,000 which has been matched by The Duke of Westminster in a move which echoes the donations both made at the time of the 2001 outbreak.
He’s also encouraged firms such as ASDA, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose to make contributions, along with the Co-operative, Musgrave, Booths, Unilever, Cadbury Schweppes and the food service distributor 3663.
The total donation, which will be given to farming charities, now stands at £620,000 and will be used to help those whose livelihoods have been directly affected, especially farmers unable to sell livestock or pay bills and those who need advice, help and support.
“The re-emergence of foot-and-mouth combined with the impact of the flooding this summer – and now the cases of bluetongue – have created a real crisis which will be felt for months to come,” says Prince Charles.
“I hope that this donation will make a difference for those farmers struggling to cope. They have animals to feed and bills to pay now; their feedstocks are in short supply and the future is still very uncertain.”
In England and Wales, the fund will be administered by the Farming Help Partnership which is made up of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the ARC-Addington Fund and The Farm Crisis Network. In Scotland, it will be administered by RSABI, formerly The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution.
Sir Don Curry, chairman of the Sustainable Food and Farming Delivery Group, welcomed the news. “Many farmers are under extreme stress at the moment and this donation will provide essential relief to those affected, not just financially but in terms of practical support, advice and help and on their behalf we cannot thank him and the other donors enough.”