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Taking the modern farming story to Australia’s schools

16 June 2010

WOOLWORTHS and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) are partnering to promote the contribution of modern farming in Australia’s 11,000 primary and secondary schools.

Woolworths’ Heritage Poster series – celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010 – focuses on a different characteristic of Australian culture and endeavour to take factual information to students and their teachers with clear, succinct messages. This year Australia’s farming legacy and its modern contribution is in the spotlight.

Woolworths Director of Supermarkets Greg Foran said: “Fresh food is our business at Woolworths and we have worked with Australian farmers for decades ensuring the best quality food ends up on Australian dinner tables.

“We’re really pleased to join forces with the NFF in creating these posters that bring to life the amazing story of modern Australian agriculture and show our youngsters how food gets from the farmyard to the kitchen.”

NFF President David Crombie added: “We’re pleased to partner with Woolworths in reminding the next generation of Australians of the importance farming plays today – economically, environmentally and in their day-to-day lives.

“For our part, we and our members have been taking farmers’ modern story to the community in a concerted campaign since 2006. Back then 92% of metro Australians had ingrained negative perceptions of farmers... “antiquated”, “whinging” and “irrelevant to modern Australia” were persistent themes in our market research. This fuelled common misnomers, for example that farmers “can’t be trusted as responsible land managers”.

“Today the story is quite different. In fact, the NFF’s communications strategy and various public affairs campaigns have proved overwhelming successful in turning around these perceptions. By 2008 94% of metro people support Australian farmers in proactively managing environmental challenges and back farmers based on their modern economic importance to Australia.

“That’s a 180-degree turn around. But public information gaps linger. Our research also shows that while people recognise and accept “farmers do things differently today”, they struggle to get a handle on what exactly that is. This requires a longer-term strategy.

“To this end the NFF has been a strong supporter of FarmDay since its inception in 2007, we founded the Primary Industry Education Foundation (launched in 2009) and, last year, established the annual NFF National Congress – incorporating the national Innovation in Agriculture Awards – as a platform to demonstrate the sector’s issues and modern contribution.

“The 2010 Woolworths-NFF Heritage Poster is yet another link in the chain of taking our messages further afield and reinforcing the gains made to date.”

The 2010 Heritage Posters are now being distributed to all Australian schools.

[ENDS]

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