Prince Charles asks city dwellers to support 'invisible' farming industry

Prince Charles has asked city dwellers to support the 'invisible' farming industry which, was crucial to the nation's prosperity, in an article in the latest edition of Country Life magazine.

According to the heir to the throne, who is a farmer himself, it was easy for those who lived in urban areas to forget UK's dependence on those who had farmed the land for generations.

"So, it is perhaps worth spelling out, especially to those who – whether by choice or necessity – live largely urban lifestyles, that we rely on farmers to make a huge contribution to our nation's food security, environment and prosperity.

"And in all three respects, we live in an increasingly uncertain world. That is why we need to do everything we can to keep our farmers farming."

In his article Prince Charles wrote, "On a sufficient scale the purchasing decisions of individuals can and do change markets."

He added British food meant customers were "more likely to be getting fresh, high quality produce from a known and trusted source, offering good value for money".

He said, "It seems to me that the key is to make it as easy as possible for people to know when they are buying British - and why that is a good choice."

"Regardless of which member or members of the family are actively involved in running the farm, their husbands, wives, partners and children help to keep alive schools, shops, pubs, transport, local entertainment, charities and all the other services that rural society needs if it is to thrive.

"Small farms tend to be the repositories of vital genetic diversity through the breeding of pedigree and native breeds of livestock, and heritage varieties of vegetables, cereals and fruit.

"Is it really sensible to rely on very small numbers of huge, industrial-scale farms, dairies and abattoirs?"

Charles' own Countryside Fund, set up in 2010, had disbursed over £6 million in grants and emergency funding in the past five years, benefiting over 160,000 people living and working in rural areas.

The Prince concluded, "This may be considered merely romantic but, to me, our living, breathing, working countryside is one of the great glories of this country. I think we should treasure it, including its people, while we still can."