Farmers encouraged to support a local Open Farm Sunday event

Ahead of LEAF Open Farm Sunday on June 9, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a new video to encourage more Scottish livestock farmers to get behind the initiative.

This year, 26 farms in Scotland have signed up to take part in the initiative to share their story but QMS and LEAF are encouraging farmers who aren’t hosting an event this year to attend a local event to see what is involved, and participate next year.

The aim of the initiative is to deliver an invaluable opportunity to engage with the public on farms to improve understanding and build loyalty. In doing so the initiative also hopes to educate consumers to make informed buying decisions and support the food and farming industry in Britain.

Featured in the video is the Wilson family of Cowbog Farm who are participating in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the second time.

Robert Wilson said: ” I think it’s great because you can explain to people what you’re doing on the farm, why we do certain things and why the countryside looks the way it does.

There are so many stories out there and speculation about what happens on farms in the industry so it’s great if you can quell a few of those myths about it.

“We have such high standards in the UK about the food that we produce that we can explain to people the quality assurance aspect of our business.”

Rebecca Dawes, Scottish coordinator for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, said that opening your farm doesn’t need to be flashy to be effective.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of the LEAF Open Farm Sunday initiative is the interaction between farmer and consumer.

We want to encourage local farmers who aren’t participating in this year’s event to go along and see how easy it can be.

“LEAF Open Farm Sunday is creating transparency, through an understanding of on-farm practices and procedures, that will help build a solid foundation of trust between producers and consumers.”

Any farmer or crofter who hosts an event can access a range of free resources including flyers, postcards, gate banners, arrows and information posters to help promote their event once they register on the LEAF Open Farm Sunday website.

QMS is also providing materials such as the ‘Meat the Facts’ booklet and tempting Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork recipe leaflets.

‘Farmers have a lot to be proud of’

QMS chairman Kate Rowell said: “We have a lot to be proud of in this industry, and now more than ever we need to tell our story about sustainability and animal welfare credentials to engage with the public, and show them the industry up close.

“QMS is here to support those participating in the initiative and we have a range of material we can provide to help educate the public and inspire them with Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork recipes.”

For more information about the farms taking part this year or for more information on how to get involved in LEAF Open Farm Sunday, visit farmsunday.org or contact Rebecca Dawes on: [email protected].