Research shows public ignorance over what is grown in UK

Ignorance about what is grown in the UK is getting worse, not better.

Ignorance about what is grown in the UK is getting worse, not better.

First published in Rural Focus by

MORE than 20 per cent of people surveyed recently were unaware that apples are grown in Britain.

The research carried out by Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) questioned 2,000 adults as part of the lead-up to last month’s Open Farm Sunday.

The results showed that, as well as ignorance about apples, one-third had no idea the UK produced iceberg lettuce and 80 per cent thought all aubergines were grown overseas when, in fact, Britain is a significant producer of the vegetable.

And the young are the least well-informed.

The most astonishing result, however, was that less than sixty per cent knew they could buy British strawberries in summer, despite the fact that around 5,000 hectares are grown commercially in the UK each year.

Open Farm Sunday, since its launch in 2006, has attracted more than one million visitors, yet many remain depressingly ignorant of what is grown on UK farms.

Sixty-three per cent did not know British farmers grew blueberries, sweetcorn (62 per cent), iceberg lettuce (37 per cent), cauliflower (29 per cent) or carrots (21 per cent).

People born in the 1990s have significantly less know-ledge than previous generations.

It is clear the industry needs to be more proactive in educating the public about what they grow and the advantages of buying British.

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