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Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to increase public understanding of agriculture and horticulture. (243186)

DEFRA has undertaken a variety of activities to increase public understanding of agriculture and horticulture. These include:

A public awareness campaign celebrating 21 years of DEFRA agri-environment schemes highlighting the importance and contribution agriculture makes to protect the natural environment.

A regular stand at the Royal Show to highlight key agriculture and horticulture issues to the public.

Regular ministerial attendance of a wide range of agriculture and county shows.

A programme of ministerial regional visits to raise profile of key DEFRA projects in the regions.

Commitment to developing the understanding young people have of both where and how their food is produced by supporting the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) led Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto.

Working closely with DCSF, the Department of Health, and other stakeholders to support the Year of Food and Farming (YFF) in Education, an industry-led initiative to reconnect children and young people with the countryside.

Supporting Open Farm Sunday, an industry run initiative, organised by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) with the objective of encouraging the public to visit farms, find out what farmers do, why they do it and why farms matter.