Farmers up and down the country open gates for Open Farm Sunday

The UK food and farming sector has united for Open Farm Sunday 2018
The UK food and farming sector has united for Open Farm Sunday 2018

Farmers across the UK have opened their gates for the biggest public showcase of British agriculture, Open Farm Sunday.

With public access to the natural environment on the government agenda, LEAF Open Farm Sunday, taking place today (10 June), aims to unite the UK food and farming industry to demonstrate to the public all that British farmers deliver.

Open Farm Sunday is managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), an organisation educating the public on sustainable food and farming.

The industry initiative is unique in bringing together partners from across the food and farming sector for a day of celebration - from farmers and processors through to retailers and associated organisations.

Industry support this year includes Arla Foods, Asda, BASF plc, Co-op, Defra, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Marks & Spencer, the NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and the AHDB.

Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF, 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.”

'Connects us all'

Defra Secretary Michael Gove called Open Farm Sunday a "fantastic initiative".

He said: “It connects us all to the countryside and helps us understand what’s involved in farming and food production.

“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.”

A recent survey shows that 91% of people are more appreciative of the work farmers do after attending an Open Farm event.

89% said they felt more connected to the farmers that produce British food.

Critically, for farmers, 73% said they now actively look for British produce to buy since visiting an Open Farm Sunday event.