Powerful partnerships support children’s education

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Partnerships can bring great benefits to all areas of society. In fact, the greatest breakthroughs of modern life were brought about by powerful partnerships, such as internet search engines and the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. This power in partnerships is no different for AHDB’s education programme, where strong alliances continually bring about incredible results and return for the investment of producers’ levy.

The best partnerships are founded on mutual benefit and common values, and these principles very much apply to the partnership AHDB’s education programme has with the British Nutrition Foundation. Over the last few years, this partnership has evolved, responding and succeeding in the face of adversities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and home learning.

By ensuring school children are aware of and understand the origins and nutritional role of food, as well as developing the skills to plan, prepare and cook meals, they become informed consumers of the future.

Following the Shape the Future vote in 2022, where education was identified as a top priority for all livestock sectors, a renewed focus and investment is being made. However, education has been a focus for AHDB for many years.

Food – a Fact of Life

In 2018, we partnered with the British Nutrition Foundation to help them develop their hugely successful Food – a Fact of Life education programme. Originally focusing on nutrition and food preparation more than three decades ago, we helped them expand their resources about where food comes from. Following our partnership, downloads of resources associated with AHDB’s sectors increased by a staggering 650% compared with pre-partnership levels. This has brought fact-based learning into the classrooms of thousands more children across the country. This year, we hope to expand these resources further to incorporate wider topics about how food is produced.

Food – a Fact of Life also provides professional development to build confidence and knowledge and empower teachers to accurately inform the children they teach. Following a period of online delivery, physical events return this year in England, Scotland and Wales. An online conference will also be held for teachers in Northern Ireland in February. Last year, we helped train almost 1,000 teachers, enabling them to deliver fact-based learning to future generations. This included a sausage-making masterclass webinar that we delivered jointly with Ladies in Pigs.

The impact of this partnership was revealed in a 2021 teacher survey, which demonstrated that by using the Food – a Fact of Life resources, 85% of students were more informed about where their food comes from, and 88% were more informed about healthy eating.

Countryside Classroom

AHDB, along with 30 other industry partners, is also a proud partner of Countryside Classroom, an education programme led by the organisation Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF). Countryside Classroom provides educators with resources, including people to ask and places to visit, on the themes of food, farming and the natural environment.

Open Farm Sunday

We are also a proud, long-term principal sponsor of LEAF Open Farm Sunday. This saw 175,000 people and 251 farms connect in 2022. This year we will be encouraging more farmers to join the event and take part in farming’s annual open day.

Education in this arena occurs in many forms, connecting schools and their children with facts about where their food comes from and more. AHDB’s unique role as an evidence-based, non-departmental public body allows us to invest levy in meaningful and impactful education programmes, where our unbiased expertise and legislative status bring about unique benefits. Find out more about our education programme and how you can get involved at: ahdb.org.uk/education

Image of staff member Roz Reynolds

Roz Reynolds

Head of Strategic Operations, Education and Nutrition

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