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Stackyard News Feb 2012

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Food and Farming Education Strategy Launched

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has this week launched its Education Strategy 2012-17 covering food production and farming communication activities to schools across the UK.

boy with potatoes

The strategy’s key goal is to extract greater value from the long term educational activities currently being carried out by each of AHDB’s sector divisions, and to better align these with other education programmes in the industry.

Twenty-two organisations* came together on 15 February for a round table meeting in Warwickshire to share the strategy and understand more about the broad range of activities and level of commitment that AHDB divisions undertake individually and collaboratively to educate young people, and how this can help deliver greater impact and value for the industry.

AHDB Chief Executive Tom Taylor said: “Within AHDB we have always sought to fund and deliver a popular range of cross-sector, evidence-based education programmes for primary and secondary schools to raise awareness of where food comes from and its role in a healthy balanced diet.

“Today, pressure on funds is tighter than ever and there are also very limited opportunities to put factual information into the various school curriculums. We believe the industry, through greater collaboration, can deliver far more impact for the same investment by cutting out duplication, co-ordinating messages and synchronising all our activities.

“This AHDB Education Strategy clearly sets out where levy-payer funded educational activity can work to maximum benefit alongside other well-respected programmes in the commercial, charity and voluntary sectors.”

The strategy takes a long-term approach to bring about a positive change with the next generation through joint activity aimed at schools, teachers, education professionals and parents/children. Its goals are:

  1. To increase awareness of where food comes from amongst 5 to 16 year olds
  2. To increase understanding that farmers and growers care for the environment
  3. To develop a positive image of farming
  4. To increase awareness of the positive contribution made by levy payer produced food within a healthy balanced diet
  5. To deliver greater value for levy payers by maximising collaborative educational opportunities and building AHDB’s reputation with stakeholders
  6. To encourage the acquisition of food and meal preparation skills in line with Food Standard Agency food competencies for young people

Roy Ballam, Education Programme Manager, British Nutrition Foundation said: “Collaborating with key partners is important to ensure that education programmes and materials are consistent, up-to-date and accurate, as well as having curriculum relevancy. This approach supports co-ordinated activity – helping to make more of limited resources and add value for partners.”

Bill Graham, Head of Education, Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) said: “It makes so much sense to collaborate on projects. Schools are concerned with receiving high quality, up to date resources and information and the best way to ensure we can provide this is by working together to avoid duplication. FACE is delighted to be working in partnership with AHDB to help children and their teachers understand more about modern day farming and food production.”

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