TWO Cumbrian companies were the first to throw their weight behind the region's farmers.

Food retailer Booths was the first supermarket to publicly support the National Farmers Union food standards petition, sending a letter to all their loyalty cardholders, urging them to show support for the farming community.

They were followed by the only British-made infant formula brand Kendamil which is the flagship brand of Kendal Nutricare, a family business employing 120 local people and specialising in manufacturing world-class nutritional food products from the English Lake District. The company work with over 220 local Red Tractor assured family farms across the North West of England and source their premium ingredients from an all-British supply chain.

In the letter to Booths customers Chairman Edwin J Booth CBE and Chief Operating Officer Nigel Murray wrote: “At Booths we are committed to supporting not just British producers, but local producers based in the four counties we serve.Booths source milk from regional family owned dairies and an abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables from local producers. We sell regional specialities like Herdwick and Salt Marsh lamb, distinctively different produce from landscapes close to home. We sell an ever-growing selection of English award-winning wines, supporting a new and innovative UK industry.

“All of these products and many more are produced in line with some of the most stringent food production and animal welfare standards in the world."

Ross McMahon, CEO of Kendal Nutricare, stated: “As a UK export champion, we are proud to fly the flag internationally for British dairy excellence.Yet here in the UK, 99 percent of infant formula consumed is made by foreign companies using foreign milk. We believe in our local farms and communities, and strive for a more sustainable, traceable, and healthy infant milk utilising Great British milk and food safety standards for our nation’s children.We stand with the NFU in fighting to retain Britain’s excellence in food safety and championing our farming community here at home.”

Sarah Dunning of Tebay Services added: “We emerge from lockdown at a time when the UK's high food and animal welfare standards are in jeopardy. This in turn threatens the very survival of many of the excellent food businesses we work with, including our own family farm, which supplies beef and lamb to our farm shops and kitchens. As we restart our business, Westmorland is more determined than ever to stand up for local, sustainable, nourishing food.We at Westmorland are proud to support the NFU’s petition to protect UK food standards and will campaign to protect them.”