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.”
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.
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.
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.