Coronavirus: Database helps small-scale farmers deliver to public

The new database aims to provide those small-scale farmers affected by the impacts of the coronavirus a much-needed lifeline
The new database aims to provide those small-scale farmers affected by the impacts of the coronavirus a much-needed lifeline

Hundreds of small-scale farmers across the UK have joined a new initiative to help connect the public with food producers who many be suffering as a result of Covid-19.

Farms to Feed Us, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, aims to help link consumers with farmers and food producers during the pandemic.

The ambition of the initiative is to provide an online database highlighting the location of farms and where they can deliver.

The coronavirus crisis has led to an explosion of consumer interest in sourcing food directly, and many producers are experiencing unprecedented demand.



And yet the massive collapse in sales to restaurants, event catering, and the high street is causing mass wastage and loss of income for many farming businesses.

The majority of producers on the database exclusively supplied the food service sector and have had to completely redesign their business to adapt to the changing situation during the crisis.



Set up by Cathy St Germans, who founded the Port Eliot festival, Farms to Feed Us wants to channel the current high levels of public interest in buying local to promote coronavirus-affected firms.

"Our hope is also that this moment of increased engagement with local and short-chain food supply, as well as big questions about food security, sovereignty, and sustainability, will provide strong foundations for the future," Farms to Feed Us said.

"The database is growing every day as we gather new information, and as more and more farms and producers sign up, please check back regularly.

"It’s designed to be lo-fi so you can print it off and write on it, for those neighbours and relatives who may not use the internet or social media, and we also have a website version in the pipeline, to follow in the next few weeks."

The Google document allows farmers to enter details such as their address, where they deliver, what they deliver, and even their methods of production.

Businesses such as butchers, fishmongers and small farm shops also feature in the database.

To find local farm shops near you during the coronavirus crisis, FarmingUK also provides an online list featuring thousands of locally-run businesses.