How can we make a step change in public engagement in food and farming?
When: 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday 12th September 2016Where: The Auditorium, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, 33 Holborn London EC1N 2HT
11/09/16 Reverse order Timestamp format
How can we make a step change in public engagement in food and farming? - Follow this Live Blog tomorrow to find out from the LEAF Public Engagement Conference...
Today's the day..the first ever LEAF Public Engagement Conference. We'll be live blogging the morning session so follow updates here or on Twitter @LEAF_Farming #PublicEngagement
Thank you to Sainsbury's for providing the home for today's Public Engagement Conference. Our guests will be arriving soon - we kick off at 10am
'Leading a collaborative approach within the industry for better public engagement with consumers' is one of LEAF's priorities. Today's conference explores: 'How can we make a step change in public engagement in food and farming?'
Open Farm Sunday:
1.8m visitors since 2006.
1,500 farmers since 2006.
A good start.
Today we explore what else is being done, and can be done, to increase consumers' engagement with food and farming.
Our Chief Executive Caroline Drummond gets things underway...
We're doing some good things but how do we make a REAL step change
Caroline's CTA for the delegates: By the end of the day I want you to be more enthused...but also I want you to come up with some solutions
Increasing urbanisation: We're 81% urban in the UK - which brings great challenges.
We're losing touch with seasonality
Today's conference is part of LEAF's 25th Anniversary activities #LEAF25
Today's focus is about partnerships
We've got to positively influence consumer attitudes
261k people visited farms for Open Farm Sunday 2016
People love to touch a farmer!
Professor Michael Winter, University of Exeter takes to the stage next...
What's different about agriculture and food (compared to manufacturing industries like cars?). Prof Winter says is to do with a number of factors including Cultural Identity and Bodily Wellbeing
Peak of industralisation was as late as 1860s
It's not that long ago that we were, as a nation, more closely involved with food and farming
There is a great appetite for understanding our agricultural past
We now have the luxury of thinking more broadly about what we eat
We are naturally concerned with what we put in our bodies - what we eat is a more profound decision than buying a car
The agriculture industry has a big role to play in the health debate
In 2011-2012 there were 2.73billion visits to the natural environment. 52% of these were to the countryside
Professor Winter discusses the different ways to engage with nature: 1. Observing. 2. Contact 3. Exercise. 4. Therapeutic
The foundations for engagement are in place but we need to build on them
Is there a viable future for farmers? Professor Michael Winter still believes in food security but admits we got bits of it wrong. There is still a major challenge.
A lighthearted moment in the room as Professor Michael Winter gets told he has 2 minutes left to speak by Annabel, and 3 minutes by Caroline!
Engagement is needed because there is a public need AND a farming need.
Brexit means a large potential downside to British agriculture - getting our voice heard will be a challenge
We need to find a way forward - and this will be largely through engagement as we get the public onside.
Next up a panel discussion with Beth Hart, Sainsbury's, Fran Barnes, NFU, Patrick Middleton, BBSRC, Chris Manley, NFYFC, and Ian Pigott
Up first...Beth Hart, Head of Technical, Fresh Foods, Sainsbury's.
Customers are looking for value, choice,,,but also they are judging us on where we source our food from
Beth says Sainsbury's customers tell them: The Union Jack is the most important logo on pack
We need to keep the messages in store very very simple
We were delighted to participate in Open Farm Sunday in a much higher level than ever before. We recognised there was need for us to get out there and communicate with our customers via our farmers and growers.
Fran Barnes, Director of Communications at NFU takes to the stage..
Good news: farmers are popular.
The challenge: Does support = engagement?
Engagement is a two way street.
Patrick Middleton, BBSRC is up next to explore the science behind agriculture...
Why do we need to make a step change? The reasons are numerous...
Go to where your audience are - physically or online.
Patrick explains how BBSRC teamed up with LEAF to create new science resources for Open Farm Sunday.
Chris Manley is next to take the stage looking at the role of young farmers
NFYFC: 24,000 members. 644 clubs.
We need to give a clear and positive message and celebrate our nutritious British food
We need to move on from words like support and look at words like trust and integrity
British farming provides 62% of the food eaten in the UK
Food is as important as blood
Social media really makes a difference. Third party advocacy is key.
We are a very positive organisation... and would love to collaborate with everyone in the room to make a step change in public engagement
Ian Pigott, LEAF Demonstration Farmer is next...
For me, public engagement is not just about the food, it's about the embedded value of farming
Ian Pigott explains why Open Farm Sunday works: It's non prescriptive. It's inclusive. It's a call to action. It has two audiences.
We need to make sure people understand what farming means to them
Education is the bedrock of future public engagement practices
Ian Pigott explains how his Farmschool gets pupils to tell each other what they've learnt - using iPads and filming
Ian's Public Engagement Recommendations:
Greater collaboration. Whole industry strategy.
Devolved responsibility for education activities in regions.
Twinning with schools.
Farmers to be incentivised.
Responsibility to everyone.
The audience have been challenged to discuss with their neighbour: How can we make a step change in engagement with food and farming? Our wonderful speakers should have inspired them!
Jon Alexander, New Citizenship Project, is now going to explore just exactly what public engagement is...
The word 'engagement' can be used too lazily
Tell me I will forget.
Show me I might remember.
Involve me and I will understand.
The pronoun we use for consumers is them... but who are... they?
In the world of the internet we can all be involved in shaping messages and making decisions
The latest questions to the room: How often do you talk about consumers? What language could you use?
Outside of agriculture what models should we learn from for public engagement? Jon Alexander gives airbnb as an example in the world of accommodation.
Next Jon looks at the New Power Participation Scale:
Consuming - Sharing - Shaping -Funding - Producing - Co-Owning
Discussion point: What comes next?
Beer is the next discussion point: Brewdog to be precise.
All our speakers are back on stage for a Q&A... first question is how to engage the causal countryside walker...
Ian Pigott says: 1 to 1 relationships are key - they're the things people talk about in the pub.
Caroline Drummond says we need more signage in the countryside and on farms: We should be telling people more about what's in the fields.
Fran Barnes, NFU talks about the spirit of collaboration...the biggest challenge is to encourage everyone to create opportunities to talk about the success of British food and farming
Question to the panel - if there were no organistations like LEAF, RHET, FACE where would we be?
As we talk about the power of social media, #PublicEngagement enters Twitter's trends...
Tom Heap asks the panel: Is there scope for an online site selling only British produce?
Qs still coming in for the panel..even as the offer of lunch is made. Always a sign of an inspired audience
That brings our morning session to a close. This afternoon, delegates will be exploring best practice in Public Engagement through a series of workshops.
We'll be sharing soundbites and videos on our website for anyone that was unable to attend.