The Covid-19 pandemic has brought food production and supply into sharp focus for every human and every nation as the virus continues to grip the world.
In response to the heightened importance of food, the digital platform EatFarmNow has launched a movement under the hashtag #FoodArmy to urge everyone in the food chain – from farmers through to delivery men and women – to share their stories and help curb panic or over-buying.
“People are anxious about food supplies, so we’ve reached out to farmers and others in the supply chain to share videos and pictures of themselves going about their job, as a way to reassure the public that the sector is still operating.”
“We asked those sharing videos to say what they were doing and that ‘we have your back’, as a key message.”
“We’ve had a great response with farmers in particular flooding the hashtag with videos, including from Canada and New Zealand. We’ve also had butchers and artisanal food makers getting involved, but we'd love more people in the chain too.”
Will Evans, cofounder for EatFarmNow adds:
“What this very much isn't, is a chance to crow about farming, call farmers ‘heroes’ or 'thank a farmer’. Farmers work hard – as do many other people – and yes, they are absolutely integral, as they always have been, and as they always will be.
“Many more people, however, have lost their jobs, livelihoods and ability to even step outside – let alone a nice big wide-open field. And many also, such as doctors, nurses, carers, teachers, police, and supermarket check-out staff are working at great personal risk.”
“So, it's very much about the whole supply chain, not just farmers, sharing a glimpse of what they're doing to keep things going.”
EatFarmNow was launched a year ago and is described by its founders as a collection of the world’s most insightful and compelling content generated by both citizen and professional journalists via vlog, blogs and podcasts.
The platform is all about sharing stories straight from the world's fields, barns and food outlets, according to its UK founders, Welsh farmer Will Evans and Simon Haley, a rural business and social media consultant.
“It seems more important than ever to hear the human story of how people are going the extra mile to keep us all fed and cared for, in sickness and in health,” explains Will Evans, the man behind the Rock & Roll Farming Podcast.
“This crisis is bringing out the best in people during the most challenging of times many of us will ever know,” he adds. “And, whilst farming and food supply is crucial, there is no portion of society working more selflessly than the medical and care staff who are caring for sick and dying people with compassion and selflessness.”
Adding his thoughts, cofounder Simon Haley says: “All over the world there are poignant stories of people helping to keep food flowing in whatever ways that they can - butchers making home deliveries to the elderly, young families delivering to housebound neighbours, farm shops offering 24/7 kerbside pick-ups and people without any agricultural experience signing up to work on farms to keep food flowing.”
EatFarmNow hosts a wide variety of topics content that spans the big issues in farming, food and the land.
There are now 62 regular contributors on EatFarmNow, with now about 700 pieces of content, including:
Anna Jones, a freelance journalist, formerly with the BBC, who tackles complex topics like the meat vs vegan debate.
Joe Stanley, an English arable and beef farmer and broadcaster.
Lesley Kelly from Saskatchewan, Canada, who runs a successful blog called High Heels and Canola Fields.
Meredith Bernard - This Farm Wife - a beef cattle farmer in North Carolina, USA.
Peterson Farm Bros from Kansas, USA, who create social media content to promote agriculture.
EatFarmNow platform has been developed by TAP, a digital and content specialist agency and the marketing has been coordinated by Jane Craigie Marketing. Its Associate Partner is The Rural Youth Project.
* About EatFarmNow
EatFarmNow is a brand-new digital platform that puts the world’s best podcasts, blogs, videos and pictures created by farmers and others in food, all in one place. The site is targeted at both farming and the non-farming communities globally. EatFarmNow’s content spans the big issues in farming, food and the land, through to technical know-how for farmers and growers, and also includes some of the most touching, compelling and humorous citizen broadcasters in the world.