Nature friendly farmers across the UK are urging the public to buy local when they can, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and beyond.

A sustainable food supply chain in the UK has never been more crucial, particularly to help farmers provide healthy and sustainable food, and to protect wildlife and the environment.

To highlight the importance of sustainable food during a pandemic, the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) has launched a new report, showcasing the extraordinary things that farmers are doing to help their local communities.

From providing veg boxes direct to vulnerable people in the community, to donating their land for community growing and picking, NFFN farmers from all over the country have been sharing their stories of how they’re supporting local communities.

Many farm businesses have been forced to adapt overnight to deal with sudden disruptions and increasing demand from local communities.

On top of those challenges, farmers are concerned that future trade deals could soon undercut the high standards set up UK farmers.

Martin Lines, chair of NFFN said: “The sight of empty supermarket shelves and fears of labour shortages show how much farmers need consumer support.

"The Covid-19 crisis demonstrates how intrinsically connected farmers are to local economies and the environment.

"When people buy produce straight from a local and sustainable farmer, they’re also protecting their community and wildlife.”

The network is committed to demonstrating to the wider public what farmers can do for wildlife whilst still delivering plentiful produce.

To help protect the sustainable food supply chain for the rest of Covid-19 crisis, farmers from the NFFN have shared the five things the public can do to support them.

Top 5 ways to support British farmers during covid-19

1. Shop local and sustainable. Buy fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce from your local online farm shop or market. Find farmers across the UK delivering locally here.

2. Work or volunteer on a farm. The UK is facing a potential shortage of 80,000 workers due to Covid-19. If you have the time, find your local farms to help harvest the food for the nation. Here’s a list of organisations that can direct you to the right place.

3. Join the nature-friendly farming movement for free. We are stronger together. Join the NFFN for free as a public member to stay up to date with how you can support nature-friendly farmers producing food for the nation.

4. Try not to waste. More than a third of food around the world is thrown away. It’s important not to stockpile food that will go to waste. Make sure you plan your shopping trips carefully, buy only what you need, and use up leftovers.

5. Celebrate the local farmers doing extraordinary things to produce the food on your plates while protecting nature. When you receive food from a local producer, share your food stories and celebrate it on social media with #NatureFriendlyFood.