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More trust in farmers after Open Farm Sunday 2022, survey says

The vast majority of visitors to last year's Open Farm Sunday (OFS) event said they now have more trust in British farming, according to a survey.

Organisers Linking Education and Farming (LEAF) have unveiled the results of the impact that last year's OFS had on the public.

On 12 June 2022, over 250 farms opened their gates, welcoming over 175,000 people onto farms across Britain.

Farms of all enterprises and sizes took part to stand up and showcase the work farmers do to produce food whilst also enhancing the environment.

LEAF then asked visitors what they took away from visiting a farm, with the vast majority (85%) saying they now had more trust in British farming.

A clear majority (79%) said they learned something new about farming, while 72% said they felt the industry was doing something to help combat climate change.

Almost half (49%) of visitors said that OFS 2022 had inspired someone in their group to consider a career in the agri-food sector.

And nearly all (98%) of visitors said they had a better understanding of what 'sustainably produced' food meant.

Reflecting on the significant change since OFS was launched in 2006, Annabel Shackleton, OFS manager, highlighted the industry's growing trends.

“We are seeing an increasing number of farmers opening their farm gates at various points in the farming year, from lambing events to pumpkin patches and PYO Christmas trees," she noted.

"The recent pandemic, environmental concerns, and events such as COP26 in Glasgow, have developed a more conscious consumer, who is seeking factually correct information to support their decisions.”

She said this year's OFS, taking place on Sunday 11 June 2023, was a way for farmers and growers to inform and inspire the British public.

“Long established as the farming industry’s annual open day, OFS offers a huge support network to assist farmers on their journey to welcoming the public on farm.

"There is a team of OFS ambassadors who are on hand and happy to chat through their experiences and offer guidance so each farming business runs the event they feel is manageable and appropriate for their setup.

“We also offer a whole host of free resources to help prepare farmers for the event, including guidance for promotion, templates, activity ideas and resources to use on the day itself, to help inform and entertain visitors.”

LEAF has also announced free farmer training events for 2023, taking place between February and April.

At the events, farmers can learn more about the steps involved in opening their farm and pick up ideas from other hosts.


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