DESPITE the lack of agricultural shows this year, the National Farmers Union (NFU) is working hard to support all those working in the industry.

Rob Hicks, Ryedale NFU Group Secretary said the shows, including Ryedale Show, which should have been held last week, were an important part of the farming calendar.

“The shows are where farmers do business and meet others in their industry,” he said.

“It is also an opportunity to showcase their quality produce and animals to the public.”

Rob said farmers had continued to work throughout the lockdown while adapting to the changing social and economic conditions.

“Before lockdown a third of food was consumed outside the home and initially farmers were hit by a drop in demand from the hospitality and fast food sectors,” he said.

“However, as the lockdown progressed consumers reacted in a positive way by supporting local producers and looking for quality British food.”

Rob said British farmers were proud to produce high quality food with a low carbon footprint and high animal welfare standards.

A survey by OnePoll has shown that support for British food and farming has reached a record high as a result of farmers’ efforts to keep the nation fed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Farmer Favourability Survey reveals that 75 per cent of people voiced a positive view of UK farming, which is the highest figure since OnePoll started carrying out the annual survey in 2012.

It also marks a six per cent point increase in public favourability since June 2019, which comes on top of a further five per cent point increase between June 2018-2019.

There are also fewer people claiming to have no opinion on farming, dropping from 25 per cent to 21 per cent over the past year. When the survey started in 2012, this figure was at 33 per cent.

The majority of respondents cited the importance of British farming’s work throughout lockdown as a reason for their increased positive view.

Rob said: “There is also a lot more interest in where food comes from.

“More than a million people have pledged their support for British farming and food production by signing the NFU’s petition urging the Government to ensure future trade deals do not lead to an increase in food imports that would be illegal to produce here.

“It is the clearest indication yet that the British public do not want to see food on their supermarket shelves, or in their restaurants and cafes, that falls below the standards British farmers adhere to.

“When people go to their local shop, their local butcher, they know where their meat comes from and we need the government to continue to support those high standards.”