Consumers are confused about food

UK - A major campaign to help reconnect people with the countryside will be served up today as startling new research shows most Britons have lost touch with where their food comes from.
calendar icon 14 April 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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Nearly 90% don't know that beer is made from barley, a fifth don't know yoghurt is made from milk and, shockingly, more than one in 10 people think we grow rice in the UK.

The survey also revealed less than two in 10 people know that three quarters of the UK's land surface is farmland, with two thirds never having met a farmer.

The findings come on the day that for the first time the whole farming community joins forces for a campaign showing what farming delivers for society under the slogan of "c/o British Farming".

The survey shows that urban Britain has never been more disconnected from its rural roots than in 2003. Other key findings are:

Two thirds of people don't know sugar is grown in the UK, more than a third don't realise cherries are grown in the UK and nearly one in 10 don’t know we grow onions and tomatoes. Less than one in 10 people know British farmers grow most of the food eaten in Britain. More than half don't realise margarine is made from vegetable oil with more than a quarter thinking it is made from milk or animal fat. Nine out of 10 people have no family connection with farming, whereas two generations ago nearly a quarter of the population had relatives in farming. "c/o British Farming" posters and banners will go up around the countryside from today and a fleet of liveried lorries will travel the length and breadth of Britain.* A brand new website - - will feature interesting facts and figures about farming and leaflets will be dropped through the nation's letterboxes with an invitation to visit the countryside.

Speaking on behalf of the campaign partners (listed below) NFU Director General Richard Macdonald said: "In today's world, the basic facts on food production and the countryside are no longer handed down from generation to generation.

"Our world-renowned countryside is the birthright of the whole nation. This campaign is about helping people reconnect with their rural roots and develop a greater appreciation of things that were once instinctive to us."

Mark Pendlington, CLA Chief Executive, said: "We are issuing an invitation to the public to visit the countryside. We hope this will help people make better informed choices about food and help them to appreciate why our beautiful landscape looks the way it does."

The survey of 1,000 adults was carried out in March by research company Taylor Nelson Sofres.

To view this survey Click Here

Source: c/o British Farming - 14th April 2003

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