Schoolchildren want to visit farms, new research suggests
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 08:20

NFUThe NFU has said the industry must do all it can to teach youngsters about where their food comes from after 84 per cent of five to eight-year-olds said they would love to visit a farm.

Figures from the survey were revealed as part of British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating Week, which will also see the NFU hosting a live webinar on Thursday (June 5) which all 4,400 of the schools signed up for the campaign can tune into to learn more about farming.

It will feature Warwickshire farmer Henry Lucas who will talk about his work; and who is the star of the NFU’s latest video, which will be launched on Thursday.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “We are proud to be supporters of Healthy Eating Week and we are thrilled that so many youngsters have said they do want to know more about where their food comes from and they would like to get down on to farm.

“Farming is already well-received by the public, and popular with children, you only have to look at times when we open our doors to the public through various events like Open Farm Sunday. But the industry is in a great position to be able to do more to fulfil this need. By connecting with Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) throughout the week and beyond, pupils and teachers will be able to understand the work that goes into producing top quality food from this country. Our farmers welcome the opportunity to open their farm gates ‎ and celebrate what's great about great British farming.”

Roy Ballam, BNF education programme manager, said: “The results from our survey show some misconceptions about food origins. We believe that knowing about your food - how it’s grown, reared and processed - is an important element of children’s food education. Therefore it is encouraging that the children surveyed told us that they would like to visit a farm – 81 per cent of primary children and 50 per cent of secondary pupils. The survey also showed that all children learn about food and farming at school, more than anywhere else, and a fifth of secondary pupils want to know more about where their food is from. However, approximately a fifth of all children haven’t had any experiences of growing food.

“Overall, the research supports the real need for food and farming education in schools. Healthy Eating Week provides a platform to connect everything together – from food origins, through to cooking and applying healthy eating. Working in collaboration with a range of organisations, including the NFU, helps to further connect children with food – now and in the future.”

Notes to editors:

  • The ‘Let’s Talk Farming’ video will be launched online on Thursday and will be hosted on YouTube here. We will be encouraging farmers and members of the public to share and like the video on social media.
  • The BNF survey results reveal that 84% of five to eight-year-olds said they wanted to visit a farm; compared to 79% of those (out of 2,407) aged eight to 11-years-old; 55% of 11-14-years-old; and 46% of those aged 14-years-old and over.
  • The webinar will be hosted here at 10am on Thursday and will take approximately 35 minutes.
  • FACE is a registered charity which aims to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside. The NFU is one of its main supporters. Learn more here.

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Find out more about the NFU’s Back British Farming campaign here.

Contact: NFU, Agriculture House, Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, CV8 2TZ. Media Adviser: Lee Perry

Telephone: 024 7685 8686 FAX: 024 7685 8651 ISDN: 02476 416289. Http://www.nfuonline.com

The NFU is the voice of British farming and provides professional representation and services to its farmer and grower members.