Organic food and farming lobby group The Soil Association has received royal backing for its major international campaign entitled Food For Life.

The campaign was launched with a high-profile awareness and fundraising event in New York with a headline performance by rock star Sting and an address by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Prince, the Soil Association's Royal Patron and stalwart supporter of organic food and farming, said in a pre-recorded video for the event: "It has always seemed obvious to me that agriculture is the single, biggest influence on the environment.

"I believe it is a matter of urgency to create a network of individuals and organisations across the world who are committed to a better future for food and farming - one that is based on working in far greater harmony with nature and on producing local food for local markets based on small and family farms, moving away from the intensive, industrialised approach to agriculture.

"We are only in the foothills of bringing about the sort of far-reaching changes in agricultural systems and practices that we need, if we are to avert serious problems in the future."

The Prince of Wales, who is currently touring the US, will also be visiting US organic farming and local food initiatives.