A NEW campaign has been a launched to celebrate the role farmers are playing to keep the nation fed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Launched by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the Farm To Fork initiative is to champion the agricultural sector, including individual farmers and retail businesses.

Agriculture is the busiest around springtime, with lambing season at its peak and preparations for the upcoming harvest season.

“During these testing times, we want to do everything we can as a charity to continue to champion and support the farming community, and inform the public about what our farmers do,” said Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

“Farmers are not on the frontline of responding to the virus like our incredible nurses and doctors, among others, are.

“Nonetheless, they are key workers whose continuous endeavours day after day are meeting the demands of retailers and shoppers, who need a safe, high-quality and reliable supply of nutritious food.”

Among the farmers whose work is being celebrated by the Farm To Fork campaign are Christine and David Thompson, near Helmsley.

The couple are preparing for the lambing season, sowing barley for beer production and wheat crops for bread loaves.

“At the moment, we are lucky that our day to day work on the farm is largely unaffected by the current disruption that is affecting wider society,” said Christine.

“It means we can get on with our job and continue to contribute to a big industry-wide effort across the country to produce the food we all need to stay healthy.”

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society hopes there will be a lasting impact from promoting farmers and independent retailers.

“With the support of the farming community, we want to raise awareness of the food our farmers produce throughout the year and to promote the farm retail sector at a time when farm shops are really rising to the challenge,” Nigel added.

“It would be fantastic, if by doing so, some shoppers develop new, lasting habits of choosing British food at the shop shelves and supporting local businesses.”

Members of the farming community are invited to support the campaign by submitting a photograph or video of themselves in action, whether on the farm or in their farm shop.

They are also asked to offer a short explanation of what they are doing to produce food or make it available to the public.

To contribute, email your submissions to benb@yas.co.uk