CHILDRENS BANNER COMPETITION
LATEST TRANSPORT INFORMATION
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR COACHES
We have been contacted by the Police today and they now wish all coaches to pick up from Park Lane due to the black cab protest.
There will be Police at Waterloo Place when they drop off to explain this to the coach drivers.
The final piece went into the jigsaw today regarding this event.Now we have the task of making sure as many from the farming industry as possible get themselves into London.Again, we completely understand this is a busy time of year but so is every day on a working farm.This government needs to be made fully aware that we as farmers in all sectors of our industry are not prepared to see our industry eroded.So for all of those who have committed to come, just spare 10 minutes and ring as many as you can and ask them to attend London with some member of their family or
Remember this March is also open to the general public, our consumers.Lets make this a very big day, lets put British food right at the forefront of the government's menu and Mr Cameron needs to remember his voting public will not be happy when due to some epidemic they cannot get beef from brazil or cannot get dairy products from anywhere else in the world, something that could very easily happen tomorrow.
Finally a Big thank you to Red Tractor have now received all the promotional material for the day.And again a massive thank you to all our sponsors.
I am very pleased to tell everyone that we have now completed our final dry run of the March in London.Everything is now in place for the day.It is a fantastic route to walk and for those with weary bones, it is not a long distance but when paced correctly along with breaks and stops, will give us a good hours march through the centre of the capital.
10 minutes before we move off, the Police will be told of our departure time and you will all then see the centre of London come to a standstill.To quote the Police officer in charge, "it is one of the most eerie feelings you have when you walk into Trafalgar Square and there is total silence".The only noise we want to hear are whistles, claxons, etc., we want your banners, as long as they are not offensive in anyway.IF ANYONE HAS A BIG BASS DRUM OR CAN PLAY A GOOD TUNE ON THE BAGPIPES they are more than welcome to be at the front to pace the timing.The reason I mention this is whilst there yesterday the taxi drivers did a foot march and the sound of the drum coming through central London was one of the eeriest noises I have heard for a long time.
FFAare now going to ask you all a very big favour, could you all please contact your friends, neighbours and anyone else you know to get to London.We need bums on seats, we may be able to find a few more buses if necessary andif travelling by train book now whilst train tickets are still fairly cheap.As we have said before we may not achieve anything in London but we will certainly put British farming right at the top of the agenda.The excuses keep flooding in as to why people can't get there but to keep it light-hearted here is the best one that I had coming back from London yesterday.Some of you have probably seen this on the FFA Face book Group but just had to share it with everybody else:-
When I had just got back from London had a phone call from farmer in South West asking a) how long would the journey take and b) what time would coach be leaving London? Replied journey about 3 - 3.5 hours Leave London around 4pm. Umm that means won't get back until around 7 pm. "Oh have you got to work when you get back?" "No but it's skittles on Wednesdays and we have got an away game, and won't be able to get there to play, so will give the March a miss"
Remember, plenty of noise, talk to the media, talk to the general public, there are plenty of shops if you need a drink or something to eat. There are toilets in Trafalgar Sq but remember have 30p ready it is expensive to have a pee in London.
We will arrive at 10 Downing Street at approx 1.30pm/1.35pmThe delegation goes in between 2pm and 2.30 pm so hopefully everyone will be able to move off to their
transport by 3pmWe are in contact with coach companies through our sponsors to try and get the pick up points as near to No 10 as is physically possible.Remember also on the day, the black cabs will be protesting over their current issues with Transport For London, I am told by one of their representatives they expect there to be a large number of cabs could be up to 10,000!This could be a big day to be in London.The food producers of Great Britain along side the famous London black cabs.
Obviously whilst all this is going on we haven't taken our eye off the seriously declining prices of most of the products we produce, we are still in conversation with processors and retailers alike and are delivering a very strong message most of what we are having to do in respect of London has been brought about by them and obviously the lack of any leadership from the current government.
Some people have complained that FFA are not protesting over current price cuts, believe you me the minute we get past the 23 March, the issues of NZ lamb and pig prices, the issue of grain prices and also the serious situation facing milk producers will all be addressed, whilst we still have the momentum running from all the publicity of the 23 March.
The people causing our problems need to be getting very worried because with your support we will be back at their doors.
We owe our sponsors a great debt for without them, this March would not be taking place on this scale and I know I speak for everyone in saying that it is so much appreciated.
And finally A big, big thank you to all our ladies over the country who have been putting so much effort into this March, you put your men folk to shame and I hope plenty of children are getting their day off school because it will be quite a sight for them to see.Also thank you to all the children who sent in banners for our competition, We will hopefully announce the winner on Monday and all designs will be posted on www.farmersforaction.org for all to see and admire.
PLEASE BE ASSURED, THAT THIS IS AN ALL SECTOR MARCH, WE WANT TO SEE SHEEP, PIGS, CORN, CHICKEN.............. AND HOPE TO SEE ALL THESE ENTERPRISES HIGHLIGHTED ON YOUR BANNERS.
Great article in today's Western Daily Press re F2L March http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/.../story.../story.html
Also got a mention in Country Life, and what a great docu on BBC2 last night behind the scenes of Country Life and followed SW dairy farmer Maurice Durbin and the turmoil and emotional upset of TB testing his lovely guernsey herd. A very truthful and brave move by the Durbin family and their great staff to show the reality behind Bovine TB testing. http://www.countrylife.co.uk/features/country-life...
Have been informed by our Police Liasion Officer that the black cabs are intending to join our March at end of Whitehall at 1.20 pm.
Scott Ruck, Mgr of Belmont Farm, http://www.belmontfarm.co.uk/ a childrens farm in Mill Hill, NW7 (one of just two remaining farms in London) have approached us and offered to bring along their Jersey cow 'Mable' and their two Hampshire x sheep 'Adam' and 'Eve', all seasoned campaigners as can be seen from the photos, to help lead our March. We were delighted to accept their offer and look forward to meeting them on 23rd. Thank you Belmont Farm
We have now been given the Green light to hold our March in London on Wed 23 March 2016.
The March will assemble at Waterloo Place, SW1at 11.00 am, and then make its way to Trafalgar Square where there will be media and press calls,and where we can talk tothe general public and hand out various marketing material including Red Tractor, etc.,Following on from this interlude,we will then continue straight down Whitehall toDowning Street where a small delegation will be given access to No 10 Downing Street to present a letter to Rt Hon David Cameron outlining our concerns for our industry and the failure of his Ministers to represent our interests and the lack of power given to the Grocery Code Adjudicator, amongst other issues.
Additional coaches have been sponsored and will be added to the list as and when required.
March Clothing – as well as our own range at www.farmersforaction.org we have secured sponsorship from clothing company www.splashclothing.com who have several fun farming logos on their site as well as special edition March garments, all of which can be purchased via their web site.
Once again we would express our thanks to our generous sponsors who currently are:-
Mole Valley Farmers, Collinson plc, Cow Comfort, Bernard Corbett Ltd, Rob Doran, Willow Vets, Splash Clothing, Red Lynch, Crediton Milling,
Wright Marshall, Duffields South West Ltd, Harpers Home Mix, Barbers Auctions, Tamar Milling, Farm Machinery Locations.
Lets make this March a great event, a lot of time and effort has gone into organising it and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.
COUNTRY LIFE MAGAZINE
The magazine are publishing an article within the next week on the decline of the dairy industry in the UK over the years.
Their reporter had a very long and intense interview with David Handley last week and they will include the Farming to London March in their report. We believe this issue will coincide with a BBC2 Documentary which comes out on 3 March at 9pm which reports on life behind the scenes of this magazine which includes visiting a dairy farm and interviewing a 70 year old farmer whose herd has been hit by TB.
Here is a link to part of an interview given by David Handley to Scottish Radio on the reasons behind the March and this will be followed up by further tranches of the recording https://t.co/ckdkFPpq8d
So here hoping to see as many of you as possible in London on the 23rd to show the UK we are here to stay. Any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us
We have today been advised by our contact at the Met Police that a transport meeting is being held tomorrow and by Wednesday we should have details of route, timings etc.,
Things are now moving at a pace in our negotiations with all concerned within the London authorities, Police, Council and Parks. We are even in communication with the Lord Mayor himself, Boris Johnson, a man with a family farming background
FFA Committee will be holding a planning meeting on Thursday evening. This will be to distribute jobs for co-coordinators who then I am sure will be looking for help from their farming friends within their areas. We again ask for everyone's patience although this may seem a long winded affair for it to be successful it has to be planned with all the relevant bodies, who in some cases do not have the farming community's ability to think on their feet.
The planned date is 23 March and for those who are booking coaches etc., we would want everyone in London by 10.20 am at the latest. This will allow us to get everyone together to go through the usual set up of the March.
We will of course have marshals in place easily identified by their bright yellow tabards. They are there to ensure your safety. We stress once more to remember this is an ALL SECTOR MARCH, from A - Z within our industry. We also have had a number of members of the general public who also want to join in and support. Again we reiterate previous comments made, we will be the focus of British Agriculture, therefore our behaviour must be exemplary. As was stated by a member of the Police, we can make plenty of noise to let people we are there and to this end bring your whistles and your chanting voice. Bring your own banners if you so wish and your colourful array of clothing of your choice (but we have a good selection available from our sponsor SPLASH www.splashclothing.com and our own range at www.farmersforaction.org or here on our Merchandise page.
We will again later in the week give you a further bulletin on progress but things will now escalate at quite a rapid pace. Sponsors are still needed to make this the success that we all want it to be and deserve. Remember, if you are busy, get a friend to come along and represent you. We understand full well being farmers ourselves it is not always easy to get away but with the time available, I am sure you can find an aunt or uncle or another relative who can represent your farm. Also when speaking to your suppliers make sure they are sending a representative and like some are already putting on coaches , ask your supplier are they or have they sponsored yet.
Sorry it is taking so long to get addt info out but we have to work with three agencies and now a forth has been added! Westminster Police are being very helpful and have commended us on the way we are approaching this event. Our local MP and his staff are helping facilitate access to Downjng Street. As expected certain organisations are trying to throw a spanner in the works but to no avail, this will go ahead.
Sponsorship is coming in and we are so grateful to those who have already sponsored. Requests were sent to many national ancillary companies beginning of week. Many have not even sent an acknowledgment so we will be listing these next week. A further tranche has been sent today, so shall wait and see.
If you know of pledges for sponsorship that have not been acknowledged in this group do please let us know and we will do all we can to promote.
We are also going to run a competition for the children. We would like them to design a banner or placard that they would take to the March. There will be many children who will be unable to attend on 23 March due to school commitments and this is a way to get them involved. It will be limited to those 12 yrs and under, depending on entries it may be split into age groups. Prizes will be given (don't know what yet!) so kids, get painting or drawing. All entries to be either sent via e mail, pm'd or posted. Closing date will be Monday 7 March. Will post further details next week.
Collinson plc of Preston, Lancs www.collinson.co.uk are the latest company to contact FFA with offer of organising a coach from Lancashire. This will be promoted by them in local press, social media etc., We thank them for this generous support of our Event.
Patience is still required but organisation for the March is progressing well.
Attendance - If everybody would like to help by asking around your community whether they will be attending or not and then notify the FFA office either by e mail email@example.com, text 07710 640567,
or message us via Facebook, so that we can gauge attendance.Also it goes without saying that we of course welcome as many members of the general public as possible.
Sponsorship -We know that a lot of sponsorship has already been pledged but we need more and would ask all members to seek sponsorship from any of their suppliers. No matter how small, it is all very welcome and appreciated. Funding is desperately needed and it would be good to see a commitment from the ancillary industries whose business we support.
March Timetable - Further details on times for arrival in London etc., will be put up on web site and through the farming media, who judging by today's farming press are certainly doing their bit to support this march.You could also yourselves contact your local radio and newspapers to advertise the March.Posters and press releases will be circulated in due course but nothing stopping you making up your own and handing in at your feed merchant, vet, etc. to get the message out in good time.
This Is Not A Dairy March - A number of people continue to comment on social media that this is a dairy protest, can we reiterate again this March is for the whole of British agriculture, all sectors are under immense financial pressure so would you please refrain from posting this negativity on social media. Thank you.
Fantastic news from one of our major sponsors, Mole Valley Farmers www.molevalleyfarmers.com They will provide coaches for the Farming to London March 2016 from everyone of their UK branches. We are incredibly grateful for this support from one of the major farming supply companies in the UK.
FARMING TO LONDON MARCH 2016
Just to let everyone know, all the relevant documentation to gain permission for the above March has now been submitted to the authorities.The current date being considered is Wednesday March 23rd 2016 As you will all appreciate this is a massive undertaking and a lot of patience from you all is going to be required.We are currently looking at transport, at the moment coaches appear to be the best option and we would hope a lot of you would organise your own coach in your own area because as you are all aware FFA resources are limited.
Please let us know if you are willing to arrange a coach from your area, with your contact details and we will create a transport page here so that as many people as possible can take part.
We will make regular updates on the website as often as is appropriate. FB posts will also be made but as these tend to get swallowed up, first port of call for info should be Once everything is confirmed with the authorities we will notify the farming and national media as we welcome members of the general public as well as farmers and their families.
It is a busy time for most farmers but if you could ask a friend or relative to represent you, that would be absolutely fine.If you could also contact the businesses that supply your farming requirements, if they would be prepared to financially sponsor a coach from your area. This will help and we will obviously promote their business on the day.
PLEASE NOTE - This March will be lawful, so anyone who is coming with intention of causing disruption in London,you will do it at your own risk and will be dealt with by the authorities.On this day we will be open to the eyes and ears of the general public, our customers, and the media.We need to show that we are fighting for our industry but can do it in a most peaceful manner and still achieve a result.
So get your creative juices flowing, start making those banners, costumes, etc., and lets show London and the rest of the country why the farming community is so important to our island and is people, in these very testing times.
Finally, this March is for all sectors, not just dairy as many seem to assume, so please come along and support and promote your specific industry.
FARMING TO LONDON MARCH 2016
We now have preliminary details of our proposed March.
Having spoken to the authorities in London, it will take place probably 2nd or 3rd week in March on a weekday, ending ioutside Downing Street whereupon a letter will be delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of the farming community.
We are in the hands of the authorities, and cannot just go along and hope for the best, to be successful we have to work with them, and they will work with us, it takes a lot of organising on our part so please be patient whilst date and further details are confirmed.
One word of caution, we need at least 1,000 to attend and unless we are pledged this amount of support, it will not take place. So we would urge all interested parties to pass the information around to your relatives, friends,neighbours, ancillary businesses, etc., and lets make this happen.
Further details will be sent as and when available.
If you wish to purchase clothing, car stickers etc., please do so asap We have already reordered beanies and stickers due to demand. Hoodies, baseball caps and childs clearance hoodies still available but going fast.
At an FFA Committee Meeting on 26 January 2016, a unanimous vote was taken that we should go ahead in taking all sectors of our industry to London. We are looking at a date in March and would hope that everybody will support, even if you are only able to send a friend or relative. After all we understand we are all working farmers. Please continue to pledge your support through social media or contacting your co-ordinator or the office. We will be putting out an A4 sheet at as many ancillary businesses and livestock markets for you to sign and pledge that you will attend. We hope that will happen very quickly.
This is your opportunity to come to London and tell Mr Cameron and his government British farming is prepared to fight for its survival. FFA strongly believes there are a number of things this government could do to ease the situation in many sectors.
Please note, anyone who thinks they are going to come along and behave in a manner not fitting with what we are trying to achieve, our advice is - stay at home. In our conversations with the authorities we will make it perfectly clear, anyone who steps outside of the law is to be dealt with by them. Remember we are going to the capital of this country as representatives of our industry, we need to show who we are, what we do and get our message across in a most peaceful manner, that is how we will succeed.
More info on this will follow as things progress but again keep pledging your support. We are currently looking into transport, ie coaches etc., and will up date as and when.