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Farming Matters: Will Case - 'Good food is an indulgence people are freely enjoying during lockdown’

Having been a Farmers Guardian diary writer for a good few years, I am not sure if writing on the back page is a promotion or a relegation.

Will Case - Sheep, beef and egg producer from Ulverston, Cumbria
Will Case - Sheep, beef and egg producer from Ulverston, Cumbria

If I were a cow, you would say I was in transition, but as a man that has a whole load of different connotations, so the safest thing to say is that I am giving it a go.

 

Being able to write anything you want is quite an indulgence and, as I approach this new world without boundaries, it is a new world with lots of restrictions which is foremost on my mind.

 

We are living in the ‘new normal’ and it is quite a change for us all.

 

For every one of us, the coronavirus crisis has been a source of worry and distress.

 

It is terrible to think of all the lives cut short and hardship, with livelihoods destroyed and being denied the company of family and friends.

 

Many people have really been through some life-changing events.

 

It is fair to say that we all have to some degree, but I am certain not all of these events are negative.

 

Nobody can know for sure the impact these times will have on us all moving forward. We will all play the cards we are dealt differently.

 

The way we shop has changed radically. Local butchers are rushed off their feet as they happily struggle to meet demand.

 

I am reliably told it is like Christmas trade every day for these shops. As a producer of red meat, this is music to my ears.

 

People want to indulge and by buying good food they can do something they enjoy freely, when other things are not available.


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Butchers have benefited from shoppers habits during lockdown.
Butchers have benefited from shoppers habits during lockdown.

Habits

 

Necessity is the mother of invention and the innovation shown by our customers in the food sector should be congratulated.

 

We can only hope the good habits created stand the test of time.

 

For me, like many others, the big change has been family life.

 

I feel very lucky to be farming and even luckier to be farming with my three young sons. With no school, they can be involved every day and they are loving it.

 

I will be honest – it was stressful at first. There were a few times when I said ‘we are key workers and you can go to school’, but they have settled into it and these are days they will remember for the rest of their lives. I certainly will.

 

Like many others, my wife is now working from home and no longer has the daily commute to contend with.

 

We see more of each other and we now have the benefit of something called ‘time’ which we had somehow forgotten existed.

 

I am sure we are not the only ones that have appreciated the chance to slow down the rollercoaster of modern life for while.

 

When you take away the need to be somewhere or to see someone, it opens up a range of possibilities.

 

We are still looking forward to returning to some normality some time, but a chance to just enjoy the simple things such as food, family and the beautiful countryside we live in is a blessing we too often forget.

 

If nothing else, this time has given us the opportunity to remember to appreciate the aspects of life.

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