Farmers from across Wales have come together to deliver a simple message to the public amid the coronavirus – you can trust us to #feedthenation.
More than 50 NFU Cymru members have united in a proud video message declaring their commitment to continuing to feed the nation throughout the lockdown and beyond.
The new video features farmers from across Wales describing the work they do to keep high-quality, sustainable and nutritious food on the plates of British consumers.
NFU Cymru president John Davies farms 100 suckler cows and 1,000 ewes, and runs a silage contracting business and holiday accommodation on the family farm in Merthyr Cynog, near Brecon.
He said: “During a time of extreme stress and strain, not just for our industry but for the whole world, I am thrilled that our enthusiastic members have come together in a show of unity to deliver a positive message to the general public
“Although our industry continues to face sizeable challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, farmers across Wales are steadfast in their commitment to ensuring that the public receive a good supply of safe, high-quality, fully traceable food produced to world-leading standards, throughout this current crisis and well into the future.”
Mr Davies said the video clearly shows that farmers take immense pride in their integral role in keeping the nation fed, and it is a role that they do not take for granted.
“Farmers, like the rest of society, are observing social distancing measures that mean we cannot get together. But despite the restrictions, I also believe this video is an important demonstration that the unique camaraderie in our rural communities is alive and well,” he added.
Last month, Mr Davies wrote to politicians in Westminster and Cardiff to give assurances that Welsh farmers will continue to “rise to the challenge” of keeping the nation fed.
“Wales’ farmers are proud of their role as food producers and stand ready to do whatever is needed to keep our food processing sector supplied with the raw materials that it needs to keep the nation fed,” he wrote.
Students asked to join land army harvest push
Students are being encouraged to spend their summer holidays working on farms picking fruit and veg to help feed the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFU says 80,000 seasonal workers are needed from the end of May to help bring in the UK harvest on British farms, but many farms are reporting difficulties attracting enough workers.
Sixth-formers and students at universities and colleges are being asked to consider working on farms to ease the shortage.
In Lincolnshire, plans are under way to create a “student land army” made up of young people on their summer break from education. For more information visit the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s food chain security page.
A social media campaign has been launched and information is being sent to educational establishments across Lincolnshire.
“The food sector in Greater Lincolnshire employs 56,000 people, produces a quarter of the country’s vegetables and is nationally important in keeping our nation fed,” said Sarah Louise Fairburn, chair of the food board at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and a director at Fairburns Eggs.
Because of travel restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus, farms are struggling to recruit the workers needed to bring in the harvest this year.
But a student land army could have a significant impact on the national effort to get through the emergency as well as give students a chance to earn money while not studying.
The NFU is urging “young, fit” university students and people out of work to join the food and farming industry during the crisis.
Farmers Weekly is getting behind the #FeedtheNation campaign to back UK farmers working flat out to produce safe, affordable and reliable food to feed the nation during the coronavirus crisis.
With our partners, we are raising public awareness of this campaign by highlighting the actions farmers are taking to get food to consumers.