In the run-up to Christmas, farmers from across the North East have spoken with one voice to say a heartfelt thank you to the British public for their support through a difficult 12 months in British agriculture.
The messages, sent by livestock, dairy, cereals and potato producers across the region, are featured in a video released yesterday by the NFU on YouTube.
Simon Bainbridge, a sheep farmer from Cambo, Northumberland; Dennis Gibb, a dairy farmer from Ponteland; Amanda Cornforth, a potato grower from Thirsk in North Yorkshire; and Richard Bramley, a cereals producer from Kelfield near York, all volunteered to contribute, saying they had been touched by the level of public support throughout 2013.
NFU North East regional director Richard Pearson said: “After the furore at the start of the year over horsemeat, complex food chains and mislabelling, consumers have really got behind British farmers and that commitment is something the whole industry appreciates.
“The shocking weather conditions for lambing in April also hit our region’s livestock farmers badly and that has taken some recovering from. This video is just a small way of saying thank you to the people of Britain not just for the many messages of support we have had but also for their ongoing enthusiasm for home-produced food and drink.
“Our farmers and growers will continue to work hard over Christmas and into the New Year to feed the nation and show how much farming delivers for Britain.”
Ongoing research shows more people than ever before want to buy more traceable food while a One Poll survey revealed that 78% of shoppers believe supermarkets should stock more British food.
“Hopefully this message will hit home with retailers as we move into a new farming year,” said Simon Bainbridge.
“If we are to rise to the challenge of putting more British food on people’s plates and champion our Red Tractor quality mark, the whole supply chain will have to work together. Public support is vital in helping us achieve better, longer term relationships across all sectors with processors, millers, bakers and retailers.”