Parents want school food to be British wherever possible, according to NFU poll

Parents want more British food in schools and more education on food and farming, according to a recent poll for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

The YouGov poll for the NFU found that 76% of parents felt food should be sourced in Britain, wherever possible. The poll, which involved 1,100 parents, also found 87% of them felt that at least half of the ingredients in British school meals should be procured from British farms.

The results of the poll coincide with National School Meals Week and NFU deputy president Minette Batters said it would use these results to persuade head teachers to engage with their catering suppliers and supply chain to serve more British food in their school.

“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.

“It’s pleasing to see from the survey that 78% 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.

As well as sourcing more British ingredients, the poll found 88% of parents thought it was very important that their children were taught about how food is produced on farm, and where it comes from, as part of the school curriculum.

“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,” Batters concluded.

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