STUDENTS were able to gain an understanding of where the food on their plates comes from thanks to an initiative from county-wide food group Hampshire Fare.

The group launched #FarmMyFood - a day of activities held on Folly Farm, North Waltham - after teaming up with LEAF and Wheatsheaf Farming.

Tracy Nash, commercial manager for Hampshire Fare said: “This important event is new to Hampshire. It was first established by LEAF Education in 2018 with the aim to help resolve key issues being raised about connecting students with an understanding of where the food on their plates comes from. It is also addressing industry concerns about promoting the range of career opportunities within food, farming and hospitality to the next generation.

“#FarmMyFood day brings together a range of experts with topics covering business finance, food preparation, nutrition, sustainability and much more. It is an ambitious, wide-ranging day aiming to enable the next generation to make well informed decisions about their own nutritional health as well as career options.”

More than 150 students attended the day on June 30 from schools including: John Hanson Community School in Andover; The Costello School in Basingstoke, Langtree School, in Reading and Testbourne School in Whitchurch.

They took part in business hubs, challenges, visit a food hall, undertake workshops and enjoy tractor tours.

Topics covered included sustainable diets, food preparation, nutrition, technology developments on farms, the countryside, and the future of the food industry.

Jo Hatton, LEAF, said: “When we asked teenagers about food and farming, many of them agreed that young people should be more interested in how their food is produced, and where food comes from.

Andover Advertiser: Field work from previous #FarmMyFood day organised by LEAF

"Our research also showed that few young people knew about the wide range of careers in food and farming, even though the food and drink industry is the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, employing over four million people.”

Tracy said: “At a time when businesses and organisations are hard pressed financially, we can’t thank enough those who have stepped forward to support #FarmMyFood."

Councillor Roz Chadd, deputy leader and executive lead member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, said: “The event will provide an inspirational way for children to learn about the rural environment that surrounds them, how their food is produced, where their food comes from, and the importance of agriculture. Hampshire is renowned for quality, world-leading standards, and characteristic products, and we look forward to inspiring the next generation to connect with this industry.”


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