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Online service launched to help farmers report coronavirus issues to government

PUBLISHED: 16:54 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:54 01 April 2020

NFU president Minette Batters has urged farmers to report business-critical issues arising from the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Sonya Duncan

NFU president Minette Batters has urged farmers to report business-critical issues arising from the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Sonya Duncan

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Farmers have been urged to report coronavirus business impacts ranging from labour shortages to late payments via a new online portal aiming to inform government responses.

The National Farmers’ Union has launched the service to “build a dynamic and up-to-date picture of the fast-moving impact of coronavirus on farmers and growers”.

The website will enable the NFU to collate information and inform ministers of business-critical issues arising from the outbreak, and to ensure farming voices are heard in policy debates.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “We are living and farming through unprecedented times and it is vitally important we all work together to build a clear picture of the issues arising in food production and work with government, so ministers can respond quickly to resolve them. I’m constantly and acutely aware that our industry cannot be mothballed like other sectors, whether its ornamentals or liquid milk, farmers and growers are producing perishable products, all of which have a finite shelf life.

“We already know coronavirus is having a huge impact on the food and farming sector with disruption across the supply chain, concerns over on-farm labour, enormous price volatility and delays in payments.

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“The NFU will be coordinating this effort on behalf of the farming industry across the UK, and I encourage all members and non-members from across agricultural and horticulture to please use the online form to log concerns. We will use this information to provide a daily overview to government of the business-critical issues farmers and growers are encountering, or expect to encounter, during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I am extremely proud of all our farmers and growers who continue to work around the clock to produce food for the nation. The NFU will continue to liaise with government and all parts of the food industry to minimise the impact of coronavirus on our supply chains and ensure home-grown food gets to shelves and into homes during this challenging and difficult time.”

The service is open to all farmers and growers across the UK. The NFU says all information will be used in an anonymised format to alert key issues to the government on a daily basis. However, no personal data will be shared with the government.

Click here to use the NFU’s Covid-19 business impact service.


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