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Spalding area farmer appeal to be included in priority shopping hours and say there is a secure supply of food if people behave responsibly

Farmers say they are missing out on vital shopping because the shelves are bare when they manage to get to a supermarket due to working long hours.

Farm worker Anthony Baker (54) is calling for agricultural workers to be included within the priority hours at major chains after a futile shopping attempt over the weekend.

Classed as key workers, farmers are working hard to support the nation's fight against coronavirus by ensuring that we have food crops for the future.

Anthony Baker is appealing for farmers to be included in the shopping hour (32364292)
Anthony Baker is appealing for farmers to be included in the shopping hour (32364292)

Mr Baker, who works in the Crowland area, said: "Since last harvest, we have been struggling with the weather. Now we have the chance to get on because the weather is fine but you are worried when you come to work about being able to call into a shop and find something to eat.

"Over the weekend I went to Iceland and two or three different stores to shop but everywhere was completely empty. I made do with what I could find.

"I do think we should be included in the priority shopping hours."

Tractor in action in a field (32364280)
Tractor in action in a field (32364280)


Chairman of South Holland's National Farmers Union Chris Carter says there is a secure food supply if people behave responsibly by not panic buying or selling on ebay.

He said: "We are in a situation we have never been in befor,e but we are not a third world country, and we are able to satisfy demands of the population if people behave responsibly and buy what they need and not what they think they need in six months.

"We are lucky to have a security of supply and the supermarkets are getting on what what they need to do. Panic buying is putting pressure on people in the countryside."

An NFU spokesperson said: "Due to significant disruption in the hospitality and out-of-home sector we are beginning to see farmers who supply them become affected by the disruption. For example, some farmers have had prices cut and heard that payments will take longer to arrive. We are continuing to work with the government and food industry to minimise disruption and help affected farmers and food businesses. Growers that rely on seasonal workers to pick, pack and grade our fruit and veg are extremely concerned about the impact coronavirus measures may have on their ability to recruit. The industry is already working hard to promote available roles , recognising that this could help those who find themselves out of work."

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