In a well-received speech to more than 200 Guild members and guests at the annual harvest lunch, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, acknowledged the role of agricultural journalists in disseminating information to farmers and growers, and representing agriculture to the wider public.
Accompanied by Guild president Lord Cameron of Dillington and chairman Adrian Bell, The Princess Royal met representatives of sponsors, suppliers of an impressive harvest produce display, and members of the Guild’s Under 35s group and management Council.
She then enjoyed a ‘Best of British’ lunch at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London and presented the Guild’s prestigious Netherthorpe Award.
In her speech, The Princess Royal said: “The Guild represents a very important part of the agricultural sector…. the work that you do in communicating the very best of farming practices is important and appreciated.”
In particular, Her Royal Highness emphasised the value of effectively communicating technical advances that could help improve the vibrancy and efficiency of agricultural production, as well as helping farmers understand their obligations with regard to reducing carbon emissions and other responsibilities.
“This is an incredible group of people for anybody from a farming or land-based background, who perhaps doesn’t always appreciate the level of importance we attach to the information that we get – and particularly the specialist information that we get,” she said. “So for many, the Guild of Agricultural Journalists is a really important part of the sector in the British Isles, and those producing food, managing the British countryside and caring for the environment,”
A transcript of The Princess Royal’s speech is available here.
Gareth Oakley of event sponsor Lloyds TSB Agriculture welcomed the opportunity to support the event and extend contacts with agricultural journalists and publications as part of efforts to increase the bank’s engagement with the farming industry as a whole – see the attached leaflet issued at the harvest lunch here.
Once the Guild’s Yara Journalism Awards had been presented (see Awards section of the website) and prizes awarded in the Charitable Trust draw (see separate News item), many members and guests made their way to the SOCIeTY wine bar – another new venue – where the lounge was reserved for their exclusive use to enjoy a variety of special cocktails, including Welly Warmer, Sward Lifter, Between the Sheep, Cart Wheel and Harvest Wallbanger – see their ingredients here!
Unedited pictures generously provided by Guild member Ian Damms of Breeze & Freeze, and taken by his colleague Mark Spikings, are available here.