Parents want to see more British food served up in schools and more lessons on food and farming, according to a new NFU survey.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the NFU of over 1,100 parents found that 76 per cent agreed that food should be sourced from Britain wherever possible. Meanwhile, 87 per cent of parents responding to the survey thought that at least half of the ingredients in British school meals should be procured from British farms.
The survey, released to coincide with National School Meals Week (November 3-7), also revealed an overwhelming majority of parents (88 per cent) thought it was very important that their children are taught about how food is produced on farm, and where it comes from, as part of the school curriculum.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “As a mum myself the results of this survey come as no surprise. It’s great that many parents are as passionate as me about the origin of school meals and their children being able to access a nutritious meal at lunchtime. The NFU would encourage head teachers to engage with their catering provider and supply chain to procure more British food, recognised easily by the Red Tractor logo. Parents clearly want to see the information of where the food comes from, and that it is British.
“It’s pleasing to see from the survey that 78 per cent of parents will take up the offer of free school meals that are now available to all pupils up to the age of seven at schools across England. This is a great opportunity for school caterers and all those involved in the supply chain to back British farming, and procure more seasonal local and British food.
“Our poll also shows that there’s a growing importance among parents that children learn about how and where their food is produced. We believe that knowing how food is grown, reared and processed is an important element of children’s food education. With food and farming now part of the school curriculum, we would urge teachers to connect with organisations such as Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) to organise on farm educational visits where pupils will be able to understand the work that goes into producing top quality British food.
“The NFU has been working hard for change and is committed to being part of the independent School Food Plan. We will continue to play our part in ensuring schools source more British food and helping to focus ideas to provide a strong platform to build a bright future for our children – not just for lunch but through cooking and food education.”