Retailers including Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Booths have signed up to support a new fund set up by the Prince of Wales to help British farmers.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is designed to help ensure the long-term viability of the British countryside and help often impoverished rural communities.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price will be chairman of the fund’s trustees, and as well as retailers several major food manufacturing companies have signed up too. Certain products from each of the retailers and food producers involved will feature the fund’s logo from next month.

The fund has a starting pot of £1m and will be used to help projects which help improve the sustainability of British farming communities or reconnect consumers with rural issues, and will also support farming crisis charities with emergency funding if required.

Speaking at the launch of the fund at St James’s Palace this morning, Price said few consumers realised how tough life was for upland faming communities, where farmers can often be surviving on as little as £6,000 a year. He said the fund was in talks with other retailers including Tesco about them becoming involved with the fund too.