The ‘Lidl Farm’ opens for free school tours

Pictured at the launch of the Lidl Farm (L-R) Nathan Murray (9), Dylan Murray (8), JJ Whelan (6), and Sophie Ryan. Pic. Keith Arkins Media

Land at Lidl’s Newbridge distribution centre used for venture with Agri Aware to deliver free educational experience for primary school children

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11 October 2022 | 0

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Lidl has launched a new venture which has seen the retailer develop a farm experience where schools can visit and children can learn important lessons about growing fruit and vegetables. Using lands at its Newbridge distribution centre in Co. Kildare, supported by Agri Aware and one of its key suppliers Meade Farm, the retailer has turned 8.5 acres of land into a free educational resource.

Visitors will be brought into a specially made facility to learn about how the retailer sources local produce, how crops grow and then will get a practical demo of crop growing. Additionally tours of the Lidl distribution centre will also be offered which will provide children with some insight into how the retail supply chain works.

The farm will operate with a booking system where schools can book slots to visit. Lidl will not be charging anything for the tours, with schools only needing to cover their own transport costs to get there, making this an affordable school trip which will be welcome news to many parents. The tours are aimed at 2nd to 6th classes. Tours will run during the months of September, October and from April until the end of the school year in June.

The Lidl Farm was officially opened today by former Irish President Mrs Mary Robinson who was a keynote speaker at the retailers second annual sustainability event. The event recognised and celebrated sustainability achievements from the past 12 months, including reducing the consumption of own-brand primary plastic packaging by 20% , a target set for the end of 2022 which was reached a year ahead of schedule. Five of Lidl’s suppliers were recognised by the retailer for their contribution to sustainability efforts, namely:

  • Packaging Innovation Award – Keohanes for Prevented Ocean Plastic packaging
  • Packaging Reduction Award – Mannings bakery – 30 tonnes of plastic removed from the supply chain
  • Climate – Belview for their carbon footprinting
  • Biodiversity – Meade Farm for their biodiversity work with the community
  • Responsible Sourcing in Raw Materials – Lakelands new Fairtrade cocoa ice-cream developed for Lidl

“The promotion of healthy eating is a key element of our sustainability strategy at Lidl,” said Lidl CEO J.P. Scally. “The Lidl Farm will provide an excellent opportunity for the school children of Ireland to gain a better understanding of where their food comes from. As keen supporters of the Irish agriculture industry, we are delighted to partner with Agri Aware on this project. Agri Aware are fantastic advocates for education around the crucial role that farming and the agri-food industry plays in the Irish economy. Throughout the month of September we have had hundreds of children visit the Lidl Farm for trial tours and we are now pleased to officially open the farm and look forward to welcoming thousands of more students in the coming years.”

Alan Jagoe, chairman of Agri Aware added: “Agri Aware are delighted to team up with Lidl Ireland to deliver the Farm to Fork Experience with Agri Aware to the Lidl Farm. Connecting schools with farming to help children understand where their food comes from is one of our key missions as an organisation, and the Lidl Farm is a perfect platform to enhance that learning.

“The Farm to Fork Experience with Agri Aware is a project brimming with positivity for agriculture, giving children hands-on learning about their food. The Agri Aware partnership with the Lidl Farm will help foster a long-term connection between the consumers of tomorrow and Irish food.”

To learn more and for schools to register an interest in visiting the Lidl Farm go to: www.lidl.ie/thelidlfarm

 

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