NAME: Farmers are our teachers
INITIATOR: Aitor Azkarate
SUMMARY: Today’s pupils do not know where the food they eat comes from, how it is obtained or produced. Children, especially those in primary education (6-12 years old), should have a better understanding of the steps involved in taking an animal from birth to the plate and the impact this has on the environment. This is despite the growing interest of schools, parents and children in animal husbandry and agriculture.
FARMERS ARE OUR TEACHERS is an initiative that creates an Educational Unit where pupils can learn about the ecosystem and biology in relation to farms and how the manufacturing process takes place. This is complemented by excursions to the farms (mainly in science classes). Along the same lines, we want to introduce our products in the school canteen, where pupils can taste the food they have been learning about and which comes from the farms they have visited. In the short term, parents will be influenced by the use of these products, and will hopefully be encouraged to consume more of them, as studies show that parents are very influenced by what their children tell them to buy. In the long term, we must think that these students may grow up as potential consumers.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN INNOVATIVE ASPECTS?
The main idea is to connect farmers and schools, where at the same time we will meet future consumers. This makes one able to understand and value the effort made by the farmer.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL TO IMPROVE THE POSITION OF THE FARMER IN THE VALUE CHAIN?
Farmers are selling their products in the market below the cost of production in many cases. This initiative could help farmers to get a fair price. Schools consume products steadily throughout the year and we could supply part of their supplies. Also, farmers could enhance customer loyalty.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL TO CONNECT FARMERS AND CONSUMERS?
The potential to connect farmers and consumer is high, especially if farmers sign up a contract with schools (private and public). Parents could be potential consumers as well.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN OBSTACLES TO FOSTER THIS INITIATIVE?
The main obstacle could be the time of farmers because it is very limited. Farmers will have to learn how to teach students. Finally, public authorities and schools should get involved in this initiative in order to set up an educational unit for pupils.