With a WAP campaign, Inagro wanted to strengthen school-going youth’s bond with their food. An action that could count, especially during the Week of Taste, which took place last week.
Wwho can tell better about contemporary food production than the food producer himself? The West Flemish research and advisory center Inagro organized a competition where schools could win WAP – sausage, applesauce and chips or many children’s favorite dish – for the whole class and have their farm visit reimbursed. What they had to do for this is to book a visit to a farm from the ‘With the class de farmer’ network in the 2022-2023 school year.
Really discover the origin of food
The lucky winner of the competition was Miss Mieke De Grande from Sint-Andreasinstituut in Bruges. She went with her class from fourth year to ‘t Cackling Kippenmuseum in Diksmuide. Together with 2 other gourmands from teachers and 45 little Burgundians, she enjoyed their main prize on Friday 25 November during the Taste Week: sausage, chips and apples from West Flemish soil in the classroom.
And the students liked it too. “The WAP was very nice. Thanks to the videos of the children on the farm, I now also know where the sausage, applesauce and chips that I ate this afternoon come from.”
Higher social appreciation
Social appreciation, that’s what Inagro wants to achieve with the ‘Farmer with class’ offer. “The chance for a real farmer-citizen meeting has fallen sharply in our society. Sharing clear and objective information about agriculture and horticulture and connecting farmers and citizens is essential to achieve better understanding and higher social appreciation,” says Muriël Derycke, agricultural education advisor at Inagro.
For 20 years, farmers who introduce classes to life on the farm have received support from the Province of West Flanders and the West Flanders Research and Advisory Centre. “Bringing children and young people into contact with the origin of food promotes mutual understanding and respect between farmer and citizen. Therefore, we aim for a certain intensity, an introduction from real life that allows for dialogue and is therefore more than a classroom lesson about the farm.
Children of farmers tell stories
To encourage schools to work on a farm visit, Inagro is launching a series of films about WAP. “This summer we had children from 3 farming families tell us about the product of their farm: sausage from pigs that grow up with the necessary care, chips from the rock-solid West Flemish soil and apples that ripen in the West Flemish sunshine,” continues Muriël . Derick further.
Léon (7) and Lize (10) from De Heerlijkheid in Vladslo take the students into the pigsty, via the butcher shop to the farm shop. Kasper (10) and Lara (12) from Fruit Lambrecht-Baart discover how apples grow. And Morris (6) and Lena (9) from Belhop in Poperinge show what work goes into the production of chips. For example, peers bring the West Flemish WAP story to the classroom via video.
Also for the farm?
The films are the ideal preparation for a real visit to the farm. Farmers around the corner from the school work hard every day to bring tasty food to the table. Teachers can find the story behind these tasty, typically Flemish products at www.metdeklasdeboerop.be. But even better, they book a class visit to a farmer to look around that corner for themselves. This can also be done via the website. The schools receive a subsidy of 50 euros per farm visits thanks to the province of West Flanders.
Those who are not in training but are also curious about the efforts made by West Flemish farmers can visit the farm for a team building, a guided tour, a farm picnic or much more fun! Discover the offer at www.proefdeboerderij.be.