Food manufacturers have been urged to sign up to The Year of Food and Farming campaign - an initiative teaching school children more about food by arranging visits to farms and food factories.
“Although not every producer will be able to open its doors to the public, everyone involved in the industry has a role to play: from hosting classroom activities to providing pupils with recipe kits and ingredients,” said organisers. A website has been set up to co-ordinate all the offers of support over the next few months, and all food producers and retailers have been urged to log on and enter their details.
Once the Year officially launches in September, the website will display every volunteer’s materials or events on an interactive ‘Mega Map’, meaning that teachers will be able to track down local initiatives using just a few clicks of the mouse.
Sir Don Curry, chairman of the Sustainable Farming and Food Implementation Group, said:
“If everyone in the food chain gets behind this campaign, teachers will have thousands of ways to give young people direct experience of how their food is produced. The Year of Food and Farming campaign will literally be stamped on the landscape, with our online map signposting just how much support is available to schools. Already this year 7,500 schools have signed up for the popular Active Kids Get Cooking scheme, but this next academic year is the industry’s real opportunity to engage a whole new generation with its work, products and people.”
Industry partners include the Food and Drink Federation and the National Farmers Union.