General Election 2019: "Why the UK needs an education system which embeds food and farming"

Members' manifesto priorities: NFU Lancashire County Chairman Olly Harrison farms combinable crops in Lancashire. Here he explains why the UK needs an education system which embeds food and farming:

He said: “We need to make sure children know food doesn’t come from the shops, it comes from farms. Recently, I undertook a 'wheat workshop' with pupils from inner city schools in Derby and I was so impressed by the questions they asked.

“They were really interested in what I had to say, especially when I talked about the bigger picture of how wheat contributes to different things, such as a component of chocolate or even fuel. It was incredible to see how excited they were to use the wheat grinder. It just goes to show if you engage with kids about where their food comes from early enough, you can help to shape their shopping habits in the future.

“This is why the next government needs to bring in an education system which prioritises teaching kids about food and farming. And it’s as much about engaging with teachers as with pupils; embedding farming into the national curriculum would allow them to reach and educate thousands of children over the course of their careers.”

Putting farming at the heart of the national curriculum would deliver further learning outcomes for schools and help the next generation learn about the British environment, our food provenance and the science of food production and preparation.

“We’re a commodity producer, so our wheat will go into a grain merchant, but the supply chain is massive beast. We need to build relationships and have an integrated supply chain. I am part of steering group with our local abattoir that learns about what works best and how to improve our produce. It helps builds good relationships.”

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