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Gloucestershire Business News

LEAF Open Farm Sunday gives boost to British farming

The growing impact of farm visits in connecting the public with farming and food production has again been demonstrated by this year's LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Open Farm Sunday which happened in June 2023.

The Open Farm Sunday saw 257 farms welcoming 170,900 visitors, helped by 5500 volunteers. In the post-event survey, 89% said that visiting a farm has encouraged them to buy more British food and 87% said it has increased their trust in British farming. 88% reported they learnt something new about farming and 72% felt that the industry is adapting to help combat the climate crisis. Pleasingly 41% reported that the farm visit had inspired someone in their group to consider a career in farming.

Annabel Shackleton, LEAF Open Farm Sunday manager said: "Experiencing farming first-hand, seeing the realities of food production and meeting with farmers face to face is having a huge impact, raising awareness of the world-class production and welfare standards British farmers work to and all they are doing to address the climate crisis."

"Going out onto the farm gives people a fully immersive experience to see, touch, smell, hear and talk farming! Open Farm Sunday 2023 hosts have delivered some amazing, memorable on-farm events which have been so valuable in building trust and understanding in British agriculture and putting farming back in the heart of communities."

"The feedback from visitors has been incredible, demonstrating the value of Open Farm Sunday's role in connecting consumers with food producers, and highlighting the importance of farming in meeting our climate change challenges."

Commenting on the open day, one visitor said: "Fantastic experience, showing how farming can work in harmony with the environment to help feed the world."

Carl Edwards, LEAF director of education and public engagement, added: "Once again, LEAF Open Farm Sunday offered thousands of people a fantastic opportunity to see farming first-hand, to see for themselves how their food is produced and meet the farmers making it all possible. We've been overwhelmed by all the support and incredible feedback from both visitors and farmers alike, which showcase the many benefits of connecting consumers with producers out on the farm and the pure joy of taking part in farming's annual open day. A huge thank you to everyone involved, in particular all our host farmers, their helpers and our sponsors."

The LOFS 2023 principal sponsors are AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Coop, Defra, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, M&S, NFU, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

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