500 words approx. 2-3 minutes to read.
Students from Co-op Academy Failsworth recently visited our farm in Preston to learn about the company’s heritage and how we operate. They learnt about every part of our business, from field to fork, including things like the packing and logistics side, which is a big part of what we do.
It’s really important to get in there while the kids are still young – teaching them where their food comes from and possibly inspire them to look at future careers in our industry. The fact that working with Co-op enables us to not only provide British produce but to give back to our local communities through education and skills training with academies is fantastic. This was the first time we’ve hosted the Academy, but we hope it won’t be the last.
Our local community is part of the farm
Everything we do ties in with Co-op’s ethics. We have shared values: giving back to the community, backing British and educating people about the provenance of their food.
Hosting the academy was a natural extension of our usual community work. As a family business, community is a big thing for us – our local community is part of the farm. We also host Open Farm Sundays and try to encourage young people to take an interest in fresh food and the farming industry with other events like today’s.
It’s important to teach kids where their food comes from
Farm visits like this are important. Veg is key to a healthy diet, and it’s important to teach kids where their food comes from. It puts the value back into something that’s increasingly undervalued – the meaning of farming has been lost over the years, but a lot of work goes into producing vegetables, and it’s a tough industry.
For example, it takes a lot of people, effort and attention to detail to grow a carrot, from choosing and ploughing the land through to picking, polishing and packing. It all counts towards making the carrots that you pick up in Co-op special. We’re giving these students just a snapshot of what we do, so they can get a feel for it.
We hope that the visit will inspire them to eat more British veg too. The students tasted our carrots and cabbages within seconds of them coming out of the ground, which means they can really taste the difference in freshness. We’ve also did a cooking demo give some ideas on how to incorporate vegetables into meals, including crudités and dips, carrot cake muffins and slaw. Each student took home a goody bag of veg, plus the carrot cakes we made during the demo.
The benefits of buying British veg are huge
British veg tastes fresher, because it’s been grown closer to the stores where you buy it, and supporting British farms helps to support British farmers. Farmers are good for the environment as we look after the countryside, we’re low on food miles and we provide jobs to people in the local area. We want to emphasise the importance and benefits of eating British food, and this is a great way to do it.
Huntapac Operations director