Hampshire Fare, in partnership with LEAF and Wheatsheaf Farming, has announced the launch of #FarmMyFood to be held on Thursday, 30th June on Folly Farm, North Waltham.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, says: “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 the largest event Hampshire Fare has been involved with for students and our first such event to be held on location on a farm. 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.”
Jo Hatton, LEAF, explains: “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. 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 4 million people.”
More than 150 students will be attending from secondary schools across the region, with the day covering business hubs, challenges, food hall, workshops and tractor tours of this working farm with its focus on regenerative farming, ie looking after wildlife and the environment. Topics covered during the day will encompass what does a sustainable diet look like, food preparation, the nutritional needs of young people, technology developments, such as the use of robots on farms, the countryside, and the future of the food industry. Key to the event is the opportunity for students to engage with business owners and experts, among them accountants, chefs, food producers, land agents, nutritionists and surveyors. Students will be encouraged to discover the key tenets of the business environment for the food, farming and hospitality industry, such as cash flow, logistics, people management and risk management.
Tracy Nash adds: “At a time when businesses and organisations are hard pressed financially, we can’t thank enough those who have stepped forward to support #FarmMyFood. They include Fullers Chefs’ Guild, NFU, Savills, Southern Co-op, Simmons & Sons and Wheatsheaf Farming, as well as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council. We also appreciate our food producers giving up their time on the day, namely ChalkStream Trout, Hill Farm Apple Juice, Gambledown Farm, Honesty Bakery, Laverstoke Park Farm, Owtons the Butchers and Worthy Earth. They want to be involved because they value the importance for the industry of engaging with and inspiring our next generation. This initiative is in line with proposals within The National Food Strategy, and we intend taking this event forward and developing it further.”
Councillor Roz Chadd, Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, adds: “We are delighted to be supporting #FarmMyFood, offering young people a first-hand opportunity to see how agriculture is integral to our daily lives and shapes our countryside. 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. Farming, food, and drink make a highly significant contribution to Hampshire’s prosperity, to the rural economy and to local communities. 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.”