During these difficult times there are many frontline workers putting themselves out there to keep our country going. Some of these are visible – NHS and Emergency Services – but others less so, one of which is the agricultural industry who continue to produce our food and vital supplies day in day out.
In a farmer’s year, right about now, they’ll be focusing on lambing or, for arable farmers, drilling (preparing and planting) their crops for the late summer harvest. Whilst this is still happening, the farming industry is having to cope with huge changes of their own, not least to their supply chains.
Consider the fact that McDonald’s, Costa and several other large food groups have temporarily closed – farmers are now having to re-direct their produce to different outlets. McDonald’s, as an example, spends £600m annually on purchases from our UK farming industry which includes British and Irish beef as well as 100% British potatoes.* Logistically this means farming output is being re-directed to retail outlets which are desperately in need, but this can and will have an impact on pricing.
We all expect to be able to go the shops and cafes to get the food we require but now, more than ever, we need to appreciate the sterling work of our rural and agricultural industries. They are adapting to this new world on a daily basis and we must not forget the long-term detriment this could have on them.
Living and working in a rural county means we are fortunate to have access to local farm and artisan shops, some of which are still permitted to open. Being able to use these in such challenging times is beneficial to all of us, not least our frontline heroes.
At Bluestone Insurance Services we want to give our thanks to all frontline workers, not least our farmers who are pivotal to all of us as we navigate through this unprecedented event.
*Source: ‘Coronavirus: Farmers to redirect supply as McDonald’s closes’ – Farmers Weekly 23/03/2020