“Feed the Nation” was launched at the Sidmouth Festival Folk Festival in East Devon, as well as online on the 30th July 2022. Created and produced by the Folk duo Pedler // Russell the song is a collaboration with researchers Dr Roxana Barbulescu, Prof Carlos Vargas Silva and Dr. Bethany Robertson in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds and COMPAS University of Oxford.
In the summer months, the British public enjoy punnets of fruit, picked on British farms, the name of the farm proudly displayed, but hands that plucked each individual fruit are not named. The migrant workers who come to the UK work in rural and geographically remote areas, living on farms in caravan accommodation. They are a largely unseen and unheard community. The song centres on the experiences of these migrants and seeks to integrate them in popular culture, local histories and most crucially and significantly shelter these human experiences being consigned to oblivion. Pedler // Russell’s unique sound, defined by incorporating machine rhythms and vocal samples in the music, is used to bring this sensitive topic home to the listener. The song is both to be enjoyed and to recognise and appreciate the effort from foreign workers that goes into British farming.