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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 04:18 GMT 05:18 UK
Public 'unaware' of food origins
There are nearly 300,000 farms across Britain
Many British people are unaware that the ingredients for produce such as bacon, porridge, bread and beer come from farms, a survey suggests.

The Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) organisation found 22% of 1,073 adults questioned did not know bacon and sausages originate from farms.

Some 47% of people did not know farms produced porridge's main ingredient.

LEAF is organising an Open Farms Sunday event on 10 June to promote awareness of British farms.

The day, which is supported by such organisations as the National Farmers Union (NFU), will see farms around the country opening to the public for events such as nature trails, talks, tastings and demonstrations.

People who work in the food and farming industry say the survey confirms what, anecdotally, they have been hearing for years - that people are becoming disconnected from the food they eat and where it comes from.

They say the results are alarming and demonstrate the work needed to reconnect with customers.

Food suppliers

Peter Kendall, president of the NFU, said most people were "blinkered by the bright dazzling lights of their supermarket".

"They fail to see that British farmers are working hard behind the scenes to provide the nation with 60% of its food supply, produced in an environmentally and welfare friendly way," he said.

The survey also found four in 10 people did not know yoghurt is made using farm produce, nearly half were unaware the raw ingredients for beer start off in farmers' fields and 23% did not know bread's main ingredients came from the farm.

The survey also found that 29% of the adults questioned - including 42% of 16 to 24 year olds and 33% of those with children - had never visited a farm.

Of those, 44% of Scots, 36% of Londoners and 32% of people from Manchester had never set foot in a farmyard.

However, 85% of people from the south-west England and 81% of East Anglians had done so.

There are more than 195,000 farms in England, 37,000 in Wales and 51,000 in Scotland, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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