The WFU has formed a new branch strategically orientated close to the political and media centres of power in London!
In a ceremony held on Friday at the Farmers Club near Whitehall, Lady Sara Apsley was appointed as the official London Branch spokeswoman.
Speaking to a large audience at the branch’s inaugural meeting, Lady Apsley, herself an already credited and nationally-famed campaigner for farming issues, rallied the crowd by saying that, “While the work on the ground and in the countryside is being completed on a day to day basis by our dedicated farmers, it is our duty as women to get behind them and enliven a nation. To truly speak for Britain and it’s food production, and to get the job done of converting consumers into a healthier and more patriotic way of life, which includes food shopping, as well as appreciating the countryside and it’s issues.”
The WFU was formed more than thirty years ago, when a group of feisty women joined forces to prevent the British apple market from being decimated by foreign imports. “We fought back in order to protect our local farmers and producers,” said Teresa Wickham, one of the original WFU founders present at the launch. “And we’re still fighting today,” said Wickham in her speech. “The WFU is the key organisation of women actively working to link the producer and consumer, a distinction that has allowed us to build up a special rapport with shoppers and household decision-makers. Publicly as a national entity and privately as women we are dedicated to engaging UK consumers, families, the media and the government and about food and farming issues.”
In her enlivening tribute to the WFU’s steadfast legacy of active campaigning, Lady Apsley rallied the audience to,”Show your support for our farmers and for those in the countryside.” In further raising the call with the London branch’s newly enlisted members she vigourously added, “Now, let’s get out there and start upsetting the apple carts!”
Sarah Chase, Head of PR and Marketing for RURAL TV who along with original WFU founders Teresa Wickham and Elizabeth Browning, first conceived the idea of a London Branch commented, “Many of us in London, myself included, find that we are in an age and an area of disassociation. While many of us here have ‘country’ backgrounds we see all around us children, women, men and whole families who carry tragic misconceptions about what it means to be rural, to live in the country and to be involved in the farming community.”
Teresa Wickham added, “The WFU sees London as a strategic move into an urban environment, which has the advantage of being a place of both public and political interest.”
When asked to explain the goals of the branch, Sarah Chase stated,”In London, this branch can effectively work to inspire our nation to support our farmers, to help consumers, politicians and the media understand where their food comes from, to examine the broader issues and policies that drive production and to each do our own part as individuals to look local for our food and to live more conscientious, healthier and ultimately more sustainable lives.”