A farming union has joined forces with dozens of butchers, farm shops and food retailers across Wales to encourage people to source their breakfast products locally and to donate money to a mental health charity for farmers when they do.
January is usually the month when the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) hosts Farmhouse Breakfast Week events across Wales to bring people together, highlight the importance of buying local and to raise money for charity.
The pandemic has forced it to find alternative ways of running the campaign, says FUW president Glyn Roberts.
The ethos of sitting around the kitchen table to eat eggs, bacon, sausages and dairy products that have been locally sourced can be maintained, he said.
The countdown for the virtual Farmhouse breakfast week is on! There are plenty of fantastic businesses signed-up to help us spread the word about the fantastic breakfast produce out there. Have a look here if there is one near you: https://t.co/kVYPd2og9O pic.twitter.com/5c8y4GPEre
— FUW (@FUWpress) January 11, 2021
By sticking with the philosophy of buying local and supporting small businesses, the union hopes the campaign will continue to encourage consumers to connect with local food.
To maintain the fundraising element of the campaign, the FUW has linked up with 75 retailers to allow people to make a donation to the DPJ Foundation when they make their purchase.
Gareth Beavan, of Beavan Family Butchers in Abergavenny, says the message to source food locally is having a positive effect on trade.
The business had welcomed many new customers since the start of the pandemic and continues to do so.
“People like the safer way of shopping, the one-in, one-out system that you can’t get at a supermarket,” said Mr Beavan.
With fewer opportunity to meet up at events such as Farmhouse Breakfast Week, demand on charities like the DJP Foundation is escalating.
Kate Miles, charity manager at the DJP Foundation, said social isolation and loneliness are key themes for people accessing support from the charity’s Share The Load initiative, but bereavement and grief are at the top of the list.
Exposure from campaigns such as Farmhouse Breakfast Week is as important to the charity as donations, she added, as opportunities to engage with people at shows, events and marts have disappeared.
“Having the FUW use our name in their publicity is tremendously important,” she said.
Farmhouse Breakfast Week will run from Monday 18 January to Sunday 24 January.
The FUW is encouraging the public to get involved by sharing photos and videos of themselves with their breakfast made from locally sourced ingredients using the hashtag #breakfastweek2021.