According to research* carried out on behalf of Agri Aware, the Irish agri-food educational body, 89% of urban dwellers believe food education should be mandatory in primary schools, furthermore, 74% believe a visit to a farm is very important for children when growing up.
The research was carried out by Empathy Research among more than 1,000 respondents from across urban Ireland. Additional findings include:
- Nearly 9 in 10 adults living in urban areas (89%) think food education should be mandatory in primary schools, with those aged 45-54 most likely to believe this to be the case. Almost 9 in 10 adults living in urban areas (88%) claim healthy eating should be covered in Primary Schools as a component of food education. This is followed by food safety (75%), cooking (71%) and growing and sowing seeds (60%).
The research was released by Agri Aware in advance of its National Open Farm Day which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May 2019.
Commenting on the research Agri Aware Executive Director, Deirdre O’Shea who herself has a background in Human Nutrition said: “Events such as Open Farm are vital to engaging an increasingly urbanised society in the pasture to plate journey of their food. We are seeing worrying trends emerging in childhood obesity in Ireland and empowering our young people with the knowledge to make healthy food choices is vital. Consumers may be aware that agriculture plays a key role in the Irish economy, but unless you are directly involved in the industry its relevance can be lost when in reality agriculture impacts on all of us.”
This unique event aims to bring Agri Aware’s mission “to improve the understanding of agriculture and the agri-food industry” to life in an engaging and a holistic way – bringing consumers on the full “pasture to plate” journey of their food. Three farms across the country will simultaneously open their gates to the public and will allow consumers a rare chance to experience first-hand what happens on a working farm and allow them to learn more about where our food comes from.
Chairman of Agri Aware Alan Jagoe added: “We are delighted to host National Open Farm Day again this year. The event aims to bridge the gap between consumer and producer, it is an opportunity to see what happens at the coalface of the sector. Farming is the lifeblood of our land and our people and as a sector we need to continue to communicate the vital links between agriculture, food and our economy to the consumer. As our research shows it is evident that there is an appetite amongst urban consumers to learn more about their food and the sector and this event aims to do just that in an innovative and engaging way.”
National Open Farm Day
Agri Aware’s National Open Farm Day will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May 2019. The host farmers include The Nicholson Family from Crosshaven Co. Cork who run a beef and tillage enterprise; the Wards based in Fieldstown, Co. Dublin – only 17km from Dublin’s Spire! They have a sheep, beef and horticulture enterprise and The Hannon’s in Co. Kildare who are Avonmore milk suppliers.
Each farm will host several activity zones on the day including:
- Meet the Farmer: from Moo-ternity wards to tours of the Milking Parlour there will be talks on each farrm with the farm families, giving visitors a chance to get a real life experience of what life is like on the farm, the animals and crops the farmers tend to each day and some history of the farm.
- The Cookery Zone: Each location will have the “farm to fork” journey come to life with a host of cookery demo by celebrity chef’s cooking a veritable feast using local produce and ingredients straight from the farm. Celebrity chefs on the day includeEdward Hayden (Kildare), Gary O’Hanlon (Dublin) and Adrian Martin (Cork). You will also get a chance to meet many of the local producers from Beekeepers to farmhouse cheese producers.
- The Kids Zone: The kid zone will be a hive of activity with lots of fun interactive activities for younger visitors this will include milk races, butter discos (making their own butter), farm safety games, face-painting, farm trails and lots more!
Free of Charge
The event is free of charge for everyone. On the day, each of the farms will open their gates to the public from 11am – 4pm and each location will offer its own unique programme of activities. For full details of the activity planned on each farm, along with directions, visit www.agriaware.ie/openfarm
*About the research: Research was conducted amongst members of Empathy Research’s proprietary research panel. The sample was a nationally representative sample of N=1,004 adults aged 18+ that live in urban areas. Quotas were placed on gender, age, social class and region with weighting applied to ensure final data was representative of these quotas. The sample size of N=1,004 results in a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.