Coronavirus: Prince Charles praises farmers, driver and shelf-stackers keeping food on the table

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 10: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, holds a chicken alongside Sophie Schweinsfurth and Mathias Stinglwagner during a visit to the organic farm Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstaetten on May 10, 2019 in Glonn near Munich, Germany. Their Royal Highnesses are paying an official visit to Germany at the request of the British government. The four-day-trip from May 7-10  will include visits to Berlin, Leipzig and Munich. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles holds a chicken during a visit to the organic farm Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstaetten in Glonn near Munich. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles has praised farmers, delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and retailers for keeping Britain fed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Charles, 71, has written a special message to farmers in Country Life magazine, in which he talks about a new found appreciation for food and food growers which is developing in Britain because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

He writes: “What this national crisis has also brought home—dare I say it—is how much we rely on our agricultural community and all those in the food supply chain, from field to fork.

“The retailers have been doing an outstanding job responding to the unprecedented pressures, and so has the entire supply chain.

“The delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and all the others serving shoppers are providing an immensely important service in this time of great need. Of course, it all begins with our farmers.

“When was the last time anyone gave the availability of a bottle of milk, or a loaf of bread, or fresh vegetables a second thought? Suddenly, these things are precious and valued. And this is how it always should be.

“Food does not happen by magic. If the past few weeks have proved anything, it is that we cannot take it for granted.”

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The Prince of Wales has written a message in Country Life
The Prince of Wales has written a message in Country Life

The royal, who is living in his home in Balmoral with his wife Camilla, is no stranger to farming life and is credited with using pioneering organic farming methods at his home in Highgrove.

On his Duchy of Cornwall website, he says he believes passionately in organic farming, and converted his Home Farm in 1985, when the concept was still relatively young.

He told the Guardian in 2011: “We need to reconnect young people with where their food comes from. We need them to grow something and eat it and not just get it from a clingfilm packet.”

He’s also previously said: “In farming, as in gardening, I happen to believe that if you treat the land with love and respect (in particular, respect for the idea that it has an almost living soul, bound up in the mysterious, everlasting cycles of nature) then it will repay you in kind.”

A documentary released for his 70th birthday revealed his son William, 37, is learning the ropes as he will one day inherit the duchy from his father.

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BUXTON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 23: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Patron of The Prince's Countryside Fund visits the Farming Life Centre to listen about issues facing local farmers and see how the rural community is being supported by the charity at Blackwell Hall Farm on October 23, 2015 in Blackwell, Buxton, United Kingdom (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles visits the Farming Life Centre in 2015 in Blackwell. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles also spoke about other ways life has changed in the last few weeks, as Britons follow government guidelines to stay at home for all but essential exercise and trips to shops or pharmacies.

Speaking of the changes, he wrote: “Younger people shopping for older folk, some making regular telephone calls to those living alone, Church services recorded and emailed to parishioners and, of course, we have seen the very best use of technology—allowing people to keep working, but also to keep in touch through virtual parties, games, singing—and some of the funniest videos I have seen for a long time!”

Earlier this week, his father Prince Philip issued a rare statement in which he also praised shelf-stackers and binmen for their work during coronavirus.

Read more: Coronavirus: Wales's largest field hospital opened by Prince Charles

TETBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 29: HRH Prince William speaks with his father Prince Charles during a visit to Duchy Home Farm as part of his ongoing interest in farming and his father's estate, May 29, 2004 in Tetbury, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Prince William speaks with his father Prince Charles during a visit to Duchy Home Farm in 2004. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles has made use of technology to keep making engagements and to conduct meetings with his various patronages.

He opened the first NHS Nightingale hospital via videolink, and has also been keeping in touch with his grandchildren via video calls, according to his son, Prince William.

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Charles also recorded the gospel reading for an Easter podcast with Westminster Abbey and has recorded messages for other field hospital openings while at home in Birkhall, Scotland.

The full article appears in the latest issue of Country Life magazine, on sale now.