21 April 2010

Thirty Percent of School Lunch Ingredients Supplied by Local Farms in Usuki City

Reposted in full from Japan for Sustainability, 30 March 2010

'Usuki City in Oita Prefecture, southern Japan, started a "School Lunch Farm" program to promote the use of vegetables produced in local farms for school lunches in 2000. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the program, and currently about 30 percent (in weight) of food ingredients used in two school lunch centers in Usuki and Nozu is supplied by local farms registered as a School Lunch Farm.

The School Lunch Farms produce fresh and safe vegetables for school lunches with an aim to foster healthy young students.

As of June 2009, 22 farmers in Usuki and 33 farmers in Notsu areas are registered with the program. Some of them offer their farms to provide farming experiences, such as harvesting, to students of local elementary and junior high schools.

The School Lunch Farm Program also aims to increase the percentage of organic vegetables produced by encouraging local farmers to cultivate organic vegetables and helping them to obtain certification under the Japanese Agricultural Standards of Organic Agricultural Products.'

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