Secretary of State for Agriculture pays tribute to University Olympic Project

“I thank these students who are going to bring attention to the consumers the great care that our farmers put into the production of such high quality food in a new technological way.”

Secretary of State for Agriculture, Caroline Spelman MP,

Secretary of State for Agriculture, Caroline Spelman MP, paid tribute to Staffordshire University filmmakers for throwing the spotlight on Staffordshire's farmers and food producers.

A series of films, which profile the region's food producers, were produced by Staffordshire University film students in a bid to put Staffordshire on the map ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Speaking at the Big British Farmhouse Breakfast at Staffordshire County Showground, Caroline Spelman congratulated the winning students on their achievement.

She added: “I thank these students who are going to bring attention to the consumers the great care that our farmers put into the production of such high quality food in a new technological way.”

There are now plans to link the videos to Quick Response (QR) barcodes on packaging which, when scanned by a smart phone, will direct consumers to the profile video of the farmers behind the foodstuff.

First-year BSc (Hons) Film Technology student, Andrew Steggall, 19, from Norfolk, said: “  It has been a great experience for us as first year students to take this project under our wings and just run with it.

“The idea to link these videos with a barcode on packaging is a fantastic concept and an innovative way of highlighting the work of Staffordshire’s food producers and farmers at the Olympics.” 

The inspiration behind the project, Sarah Gayton, a baker from Staffordshire Moorlands and Staffordshire Olympic Co-ordinator for the Women in Food & Farming Union, said:

“Our farmers are absolutely stunning people. They feed us every single day and are never in the limelight. I thought wouldn’t it brilliant to give them a little buzz by getting their faces and stories into the Olympics.

“This Olympics is all about legacy and that is exactly what we want to achieve with Farmers on Film, a legacy of our fantastic Staffordshire farmers at the Olympics.”

120 students' researched farming attitude, tourism and identity for the Farmers on Film project, producing 23 profile films on different farms and food producers in Staffordshire.

Students also aim to persuade officials to use the films at Olympic venues and as part of an online marketing drive from Visit Britain to promote the region to foreign and domestic tourists next year.

Jon Fairburn, of Staffordshire University’s Business School, led the bid for a Research Informed Teaching Grant to fund the project. He added:

“This was a real world project brief; they had  to  research suitable filming methods, engage with the issues surrounding farming in the UK and learn from past film campaigns before even picking up a camera and organising shoots.

“These films will be screened at the Stoke Your Fires Film Festival ahead of the next step in the development of this project - to get the films linked to packaging.”

You can watch the films made on the Farmers on Film channel 

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