Taking a Broad View

Tony Worth, EISA Chairman, speaking at International Green Week in Berlin

I’ve just returned from Berlin’s International Green Week – the world’s biggest fair for food, agriculture and horticulture.  It was a truly inspirational event attracting over 400, 000 visitors where just about every country in the world was represented, celebrating their food, culture and traditions.  The sense of pride they feel for their farming industry and their regional and local specialities and produce was overwhelming.   But nowhere to be seen was Britain’s fares; we should be promoting more to our continental partners.

Together with our EISA (European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture) partners, we did a presentation on ‘Building public trust and understanding of farming and food – what more needs to be done.’ It was interesting to hear how each of our partner countries is connecting with consumers in slightly different ways, but we were all united in recognising the need for:

  • Clear and concise messaging
  • Farmers to take a handle of the press, rather than ‘be handled’
  • Farmers to learn the skills and know-how to communicate effectively with different audiences
  • Farmers to shout loud and clear about what they are delivering and take pride in what they do

LEAF is addressing these issues, through Speak Out training, Open Farm Sunday, Demonstration Farms and the Let Nature Feed Your Senses project.   But we have a lot to learn from our partners and we look forward to continuing to work with them.

It was a huge privilege to be at the Green Week – a real reminder of the UK’s place in a much wider food economy. Together with our EISA partners and the growing number of farmers, across the globe, growing to LEAF Marque standards, we will continue to work together to identify workable solutions to grow production, enhance the environment and build public trust and understanding.

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One response to “Taking a Broad View

  1. Hi Caroline – this is an interesting piece and also interesting that the conference was in Berlin. We have included this city as a main site of activity (our promotional postcards highlight Birmingham London and Berlin…our take on New York, London, Paris). Birmingham because I am based there and Berlin because my youngster sister has set-up a number of food projects. One that interests me is the concept of a food collaborative – young people have set-up a ‘shop’ (which we highlight on our site) to focus on food sustainability and food culture. One of the project sources food directly from farmers. So young people understand where food comes from. Another partner organisation has transformed some disused space into an urban farm and community cafe where local workers eat at lunch time.The reason I like to feature Berlin is because the young people and the public are clearly passionate about food and the food system. One doesn’t need to be a foodie, lobbyist, farmer…something has clicked in their conscience and I agree, we in the UK need to learn about it.

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