With public access to the natural environment very much on the agenda, LEAF Open Farm Sunday is once again at the forefront of uniting the UK food and farming industry to demonstrate to the public all that British farmers deliver. This key industry initiative is unique in bringing together partners from across the whole food and farming sector for a day of celebration – from farmers and processors through to retailers and associated organisations.
The breadth of industry support is reflected in this year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday sponsors, announced this week: Arla Foods, Asda, BASF plc, Co-op, Defra, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Marks & Spencer, The National Farmers’ Union, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the organisers of LEAF Open Farm Sunday, explained the significance of this support: “The need to connect people with farming and what it delivers has never been more important. LEAF Open Farm Sunday provides the perfect platform to showcase the whole farming industry and the values, quality and high standards delivered by farmers and growers. By uniting our world-leading food and farming sector through LEAF Open Farm Sunday, we are enabling over a quarter of a million people to experience farming first hand, get their questions answered and build trust and understanding in farming and all it delivers. This collaboration is key. A huge thank you from LEAF to all our sponsors for backing LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2018 and to all our host farmers and their helpers for putting on engaging events which are having such a positive impact.”
Secretary of State Michael Gove said: “Open Farm Sunday is a fantastic initiative to connect us all to the countryside and help us understand what’s involved in farming and food production. I am delighted to see so many organisations supporting the important work of LEAF.
“The role that farmers play in enabling access and enjoyment of our beautiful countryside is, in my view, an important public good that we should all value. I am looking forward to visiting one of the hundreds of farms which will be open to the public on 10 June.”
The theme for 2018 is ‘The Great British Farm Day’ and to support farmers who are opening, LEAF has a wide range of free resources to help farmers plan their event and to use on the day, including a handbook, posters, engaging activities and lots of case studies with top tips available online at www.farmsunday.org. Plus the team of Regional Co-ordinators is on hand to answer questions and offer advice .
Jeremy Padfield, LEAF Open Farm Sunday Regional Co-ordinator for the South West urges more farmers and related businesses to take part: “Farming needs the support of the public more than ever and as an industry we need to share our story. We have to be transparent and open about what we do and engage in a dialogue with consumers, to educate, gain their trust and to answer their questions in an honest, open manner. The more farmers that open for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, the greater the impact the day will have. Personally, it is hugely rewarding to be able to speak directly with the public and talk about our work which we are so proud of.”
To find out more about LEAF Open Farm Sunday or to register an event visit www.farmsunday.org.
To discuss sponsorship opportunities for LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2018 please contact Annabel Shackleton on 02476 413 911.