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29 July 2015

Ensuring potatoes are seen as healthy and students gain cooking skills

With food security, obesity and ambitious climate change targets all high on the political agenda, reaching the next generation of consumers needs to start early. AHDB Potatoes education programs teach children where potatoes come from, how they grow and how they form part of a healthy balanced diet. By working together, we can build positive lifelong eating habits and support the future of potatoes on plates.  

In 2005, AHDB Potatoes saw the need to educate children about the importance of food, farming and healthy eating. The Grow Your Own Potatoes project was developed to help teachers engage and educate children, as well as providing them with the excitement of trying to grow the largest crop to win a prize for their school. Schools are provided with free growing kits, plus supporting classroom activities, as well as being able to get advice and assistance from growers and suppliers. To date, Grow Your Own Potatoes has reached over 2 million children and is the largest education project of its kind.

AHDB Potatoes recognises the benefits of sharing ideas and experiences of educating children and young people and so plays an important role as part of the AHDB Joint Education Working Group, combining efforts to achieve greater value from long-term educational activities. In 2012, the Joint Education Working Group developed and launched the AHDB Education Strategy. One of the main goals has been the facilitation of twice-yearly roundtable events. Attended by around 20 organisations (including Red Tractor, NFU and Garden Organic) these have led to improving the communication of education programmes delivered by the agricultural industry. Through this group, AHDB Potatoes education has now jointly funded projects with other sectors and also collaborated on a cross-industry initiative that recently launched Bright Crop to raise awareness of career opportunities in farming and food supply.

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Deliver a postcard to your local primary school by emailing us at 

Also through the continued support from external visitors that teachers are able to really bring projects like Grow Your Own Potatoes to life. Talking to children about potatoes: how they grow, as well as your role in the potato industry and the health benefits of potatoes, can leave a lasting impression on pupils and can help shape healthy eating habits that will stay with them as they grow, influencing their diets and eating habits in the future.
If you are thinking of going into your local school or even have children come along to your farm, the 'Potatoes in school' guide is designed to help you prepare and ensure that it is an enjoyable experience for both you and the children!
Download: Potatoes in school guide. A guide to presenting to children, in and out of the classroom or request a hard copy free by emailing