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GRAIN AND FEED TRADE GETTING BEHIND FARMING CHARITY


The UK’s Grain and Feed Merchants are pulling together to raise a target of £100,000 for the Farming Community


Network (FCN), by cycling in a relay around the principal feed mills, ports, grain stores and supply trade businesses sites in the UK.


A casual discussion after a meeting of the Bristol Grain and Feed Trade Association has snowballed into a major fund raising effort. “A significant number of businesses only have the opportunity exist


because they serve the farming industry,” explains Richard Cooksley, one of the organisers. “With considerable economic and political pressures on farm businesses, our discussion turned to whether we could do something significant and tangible to support the farming industry and the outcome is the cycle relay. “The Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) are working with


the UK Grain and Feed Trade Associations, which are an integral part of UK farming community, to show our support for the UK’s farmers. “The aim of the relay is to help raise awareness of the issues


facing farmers, while at the same time raising funds to provide on-going support for all members of the farming community and their families.” All monies raised are being donated to FCN, a charity that supports


the farming community through times of stress, anxiety and depression which can affect both farm households and farm businesses. A team of 400 volunteers, many of whom are involved in farming, work with farmers and support them as they seek to resolve their difficulties. Over 6000 people per year benefit from FCN’s support.


Sea visiting businesses in Northern Ireland before travelling through Wales and the West Midlands. “From Cornwall to Inverness, from Carmarthen to the North Norfolk


Since it was established in 1995, FCN has helped thousands


of people deal with a variety of issues, including financial difficulties, animal disease, mental health and family disputes. “As a charity, FCN relies solely on donations in order to continue


its much-needed support of the farming community,” Richard continues. “Currently it costs approximately £1,500 a day to run FCN, but this is expected to rise in the coming years as British farming faces deep uncertainty about its future. So if we achieve our target it will make a huge contribution to FCN’s operations and send a powerful message about the unique bond between farmers and the supply trade.” The relay is an ambitious project but has received phenomenal support from across the industry. Following the GATFA Dinner on 19th outside the Houses of Parliament on 20th


Minister George Eustice will saddle up and ride the first leg. It then embarks on a marathon 3700 miles visiting over 170 different sites representing over 75 companies. “The relay sees us heading to the South West before traversing


East Anglia. We then move up the East of the country and into Scotland. As we move down the west of the country, the relay will cross the Irish


coast, this is truly a national relay and we have received overwhelming commitment from the industry with both experienced cyclists and less- frequent peddlers lining up to take part. “The relay finishes at Stoneleigh Park on July 31st


where there will


be a celebration of the ride and we hope to be able to hand a sizeable cheque to FCN. “We hope as many people involved in the industry as possible


will support the relay and join in fund raising activities to help us meet, and ideally exceed our target so helping FCN continue its invaluable work,” Richard concludes.


For more information call 01275 373539 or visit www.gaft2018.uk where full details of the route can be found. Follow us on Twitter


June, the Relay officially starts June when it is hoped DEFRA


at @GAFTBikeRide


How to Donate Help us meet our target


To donate to the fund and support FCN in the invaluable work it does for the industry, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GAFT


FEED COMPOUNDER MAY/JUNE 2018 PAGE 35


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