Feeding the Nation: Campaign to support UK farmers during lockdown

Where we purchase our food has never been more important. This week Greenhouse PR launched a report with the Nature Friendly Farming Network urging people to buy local, seasonal produce during Covid-19 and beyond.

Covid-19 has forced nature-friendly farmers across the UK to adapt overnight to provide food for the nation while continuing to protect the nature and the countryside.

The new report ‘Feeding the Nation’ showcases the extraordinary things farmers are doing and how intrinsically connected they are to communities and the countryside.

The team at Greenhouse interviewed nature-friendly farmers across the country to find out what they’re doing on their farm to support local communities and how they need extra support during the pandemic. Eight case studies were developed and to create report that provided consumers and the media with the information they needed to support farmers.

how to support farmers during covid 19

See the report: How Nature Friendly Farmers Are Responding To Covid-19

Greenhouse developed a strong call to action for consumer support and pitched the story to national, regional and trade media. Since the launch the NFFN has been widely profiled in the media, including Guardian, iNews, Press Association, Farmers Guardian and more. Farmers across the UK have been interviewed on regional broadcast stations, including BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Wiltshire, BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Ulster.

Here are some of the farmer stories:

  • David Walston, an arable farmer in Cambridgeshire, England, has set up CoVeg to provide space on his farm for the local community to grow and source vegetables which otherwise may not be available.
  • Jock Gibson, a livestock farmer in Scotland, has partnered up with local businesses to launch a new national delivery service so that vulnerable people don’t need to wait weeks to receive their supermarket orders.
  • Polly Davies, a mixed farmer in Glamorgan, Wales, has nearly doubled her delivery service for nearby villages, prioritising NHS staff and picking up medicines and other essentials for customers self-isolating.
  • Charlie Cole, a goat kid farmer in Northern Ireland, has completely shifted his business model, which used to depend on food markets and a café, to provide a click and collect service for the local community.

Join the NFFN’s call to support local nature-friendly farmers during the pandemic and beyond by sharing your local food stories on #NatureFriendlyFood. Find a list of UK farmers delivering food locally here.

As supermarket rules tighten and shoppers scramble for the food on the shelves, people have been thinking about food provenance and thousands have decided to buy direct from a local farmer. The NFFN campaign highlights how beneficial these short supply chains are – not only to the farmer but also to the wider community and our wildlife.

Martin Lines, Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network commented: The sight of empty supermarket shelves and fears of labour shortages show how much farmers need consumer support. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates how intrinsically connected farmers are to local economies and the environment. When people buy produce straight from a local and sustainable farmer, they’re also protecting their community and wildlife.”

TOP 5 WAYS TO SUPPORT UK FARMERS DURING COVID-19

  1. Shop local and sustainable. Buy fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce from your local online farm shop or market. Find farmers across the UK delivering locally here.
  2. Work or volunteer on a farm. The UK is facing a potential shortage of 80,000 workers due to COVID-19. If you have the time, find your local farms to help harvest the food for the nation. Here’s a list of organisations that can direct you to the right place.
  3. Join the nature-friendly farming movement for free. We are stronger together. Join the NFFN for free as a public member to stay up to date with how you can support nature-friendly farmers producing food for the nation.
  4. Try not to waste. Over 1/3 of food around the world is thrown away. It’s important not to stockpile food that will go to waste. Make sure you plan your shopping trips carefully, buy only what you need, and use up leftovers. Here’s some top tips from Love Food, Hate Waste.
  5. Celebrate the local farmers doing extraordinary things to produce the food on your plates while protecting nature. When you receive food from a local producer, share your food stories and celebrate it on social media with #NatureFriendlyFood.

Greenhouse PR works with organisations and leaders who are pioneering climate action. Whether it’s finance, food, fashion or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk

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