M&S Food is launching a new children’s book to excite and engage young minds through the stories of the Select farmers that make M&S Food special. The publication comes at a time when families are increasingly engaged in conversations about sustainability and how to contribute to a greener world.
Farm to Foodhall, The Magic Ingredient champions the commitment that M&S’ Select Farm partners have to building a more sustainable future. Co-created and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, with words by Linda Chapman and illustrations by Sarah Jennings the book takes young readers on a journey into the world of sustainable agriculture. In stores from 27 July, and priced at £5, families can come together to learn how to create a more environmentally friendly future.
Taking the reader on a captivating journey through the British countryside, the book explores the world of sustainable farming and helps children to better understand the source of their food. Viewed through the eyes of central character, Amalia, the book provides readers with stories, recipes, fun facts and hours of family activities.
The first M&S quarterly Family Matters Index report, published in June, highlighted the issues of most importance to families, with environmental impact topping the list of big picture concerns. Almost two-thirds of those with children worried about how environmental damage will affect future generations whilst a third spent time together as a family discussing healthier eating habits. With families more focused on the environment and health than pre-pandemic, Farm to Foodhall is designed to ignite conversations about how sustainability and ethical consumption can shape the future, the retailer said.
'Passionate about excellent quality, British grown and produced foods, M&S understands that children in the target age group, those aged four to nine, are often the most confused when it comes to the source of the everyday foods they enjoy. A recent study suggested that one in five primary school children do not know where milk comes from. As industry leaders, M&S wants to play its part in tackling these statistics by ensuring that the next generation has the tools needed to make informed choices about the type of food they want to consume,' it said.
M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin said: “M&S Food has always partnered with Select farmers and growers that we know and trust to produce delicious food in a way that maintains our reputation for trusted value and protects the planet for future generations.
“The stories within the book bring to life these relationships in a way that sparks conversations within families who we know are deeply concerned about the impact of environmental damage on future generations.
“It will inspire young minds and help children to learn more about where their food comes from, the effort that goes into producing it, and the importance of establishing ethical and sustainable farming practices now and long into the future.”
Serving nearly 30 million customers a year across the UK, M&S is focused on delivering products, ranges and services that respond to families’ needs and changing consumer behaviours. With a commitment to be more relevant, more often to more people, the retailer has in recent years built an amplified marketing programme to engage family audiences in innovative new ways. The publication of Farm to Foodhall builds on sponsorship support of prime time, family-friendly TV show Britain’s Got Talent and the co-creation of Cooking with the Stars.
The launch of the book also forms part of the ‘Fresh Market Update’ campaign which takes customers behind the scenes at its Select Farms, showcasing the work of M&S’ Select farmers up and down the UK. Using technology and expertise to work alongside nature on issues like soil health, water use, reducing pesticides and developing more natural habitats for pollenating insects to thrive, M&S is committed to helping farmers tackle the biggest environmental challenges.