Amy Eggleston: Looking for virus silver linings

I’ve always believed in the saying: “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Even in the worst, most difficult times, something good has to come out of it.

Right now, we’re sitting under one pretty big cloud. I don’t need to go into detail about the severity of the situation we face, or the effects this may have on our industry, but it’s safe to say that we are all going to be challenged in the coming months.

In the face of this challenge, will we, as an industry, be able to find the silver linings and come out the other side?

See also: Coronavirus: Help us find farm heroes helping the community

Despite this being a very scary time (and without downplaying the severity of it), I am constantly trying to remain positive and find ways to stay upbeat.

I feel extremely fortunate and proud to be a part of an industry which is continuing to carry out work, providing something which the rest of the country cannot be without.

I spend the majority of the day outside, often on my own, and as farmers I think we are extremely lucky to be able to do that.

For most people, food is something which is taken for granted. Ordinarily, the UK consumers’ demands are high – they want different varieties of every fruit and vegetable, all year round, and meat to suit their every need at the price they want – and in normal times they’re spoilt for choice.

Amid a global pandemic, however, priorities have shifted, and people have had to buy what they can find.

Sell-out success

Consumers are seeking ways to buy local in order to avoid the busy, sparsely stocked supermarkets. Farm shops and milk vending machines are busier than ever, and butchers are selling out of meat week after week.

The #BuyLocal campaign, often advocated by farmers on social media, is being used more frequently all over the country.

Farm businesses are adapting to change, delivering food packages to those in need and tailoring their businesses to meet the upcoming challenges. 

Now that pubs and gyms are closed, I do worry that those who continue to work as normal will struggle to find places to look after themselves and get headspace away from the farm.

Personally, I try to find my own silver linings and remember that we are doing the industry proud by continuing to feed the nation.

There will be silver linings to come out of this, and as usual the agricultural industry will pull together as a community to do what we do best.