Waving goodbye to our Christmas trees and setting resolutions for the year ahead, many of us have gone into the New Year with ideas and changes we will make.
Despite this, every year the motivation and buzz gets masked for farmers by the return of Veganuary – encouraging people to ditch products from an animal origin for a whole month – the very same products we have all spent many months working to produce.
Last month, after writing about positivity in farming and how we can help ourselves recruit new farmers, I received so many messages from people involved in farming or wanting to join the industry.
Many were speaking up about their farming experiences, telling stories of what made them proud to farm.
Less than a month later, many have been silenced by this campaign, not wanting to speak out in fear of what might follow.
For me, this year has been the quietest ever in terms of Veganuary “noise”.
I’ve seen many celebrities and TV presenters sticking up for British farmers, and I had to ask myself why we can’t stick up for ourselves.
I hate to think that anyone is scared of speaking out because of one campaign.
We are all entitled to our own views and we should proudly continue to support the British farming industry just as we do every other month.
We know the facts, and it’s our job to educate people on why British food really is of the highest standard.
We produce local, quality food and should be happy to say so – it really is something to be proud of.
I hope we will regain the confidence to defend our industry, regardless of what’s going on around us.
Sharing farm anecdotes with friends or on social media should be done with pride, encouraging others to learn something new about where their food comes from.
It might seem the simplest fact or story to you, and it’s probably a job that feels like second nature, but it could be hugely beneficial in teaching someone else and protecting the reputation of our produce.
We shouldn’t be scared to tell our story – someone has to.