Teachers

Welcome to The Future Is Food…

‘The Future Is Food’ is designed to introduce students to the food industry in Ireland. Agriculture and food are Ireland’s largest indigenous industries, directly and indirectly employing over 230,000
people. Each year, Irish food and drink is exported to over 175 markets around the world, and in 2016, Irish food and drink exports reached a record high of €11.15billion – their seventh consecutive year of export growth.

‘The Future Is Food’ helps students to gain a better understanding of the Irish artisan food sector, and how entrepreneurship and innovation have driven this aspect of the food industry. This forward-thinking Unit provides students with a range of transferrable skills for life, and fosters their enthusiasm towards, interest in, and commitment to a number of specialist areas within the food sector.

Most of all, this Unit is designed to be easy to do. All of the information you need to implement ‘The Future Is Food’ in school, should be found in your free Resource Book and USB, which will be sent to you after registration. We have provided a range of lesson plans, suggested points of discussion, and themes for exploration therein. This is a great opportunity for you to generate new ideas within your Transition Year class, and get them thinking about careers in the field.

The majority of the Unit will be delivered in the classroom. However, an optional and encouraged aspect of the Unit is the opportunity for students to interact with local food producers or industry professionals. You are encouraged to link in with local artisanal food producers, chefs and food entrepreneurs and invite them to visit your school, to speak to you and your students about their experience and role in the food industry. You could also organise a visit for your students to their premises, where appropriate, and they could also provide advice to your students about their products. 

Remember to follow your school’s policy on visitors in relation to Child Protection

Click into each tab below to find out more.

How the Unit Works

‘The Future Is Food’ has cross-curricular links to a range of post-primary subjects, from Geography and Agricultural Science to Maths and English. That being said, it is best suited to Home Economics and Business strands, which most closely fit the aims and objectives of the Unit.

The Future is Food Transition Year Unit provides two Options for its delivery in the classroom (Referred to as Option A and Option B).  You will need to choose which Option best suits your class, based on their interests and abilities, your school facilities, and your own subject-specific strengths. Here is how the two Options differ:

Option A

Option B

Option A focuses on the practical
It provides students with the opportunity to develop, produce, market and sell a food product.

The selection of Option A would require that students have access to, and use the facility of, a kitchen or Home Economics room to carry out the food production aspect.

This Option aims to engage students in the artisan food sector.

It stimulates innovation and creativity throughout all stages of product development and marketing.

It provides students with valuable knowledge of food hygiene and safety.

It offers students an opportunity to critically analyse existing food products and explore new foods, new ingredients, flavours, cooking methods and the choice to develop a new food product to introduce to the artisan food sector.

Allows for flexibility on the part of the teacher to include aspects of sensory analysis and HACCP Education.

Option B provides students with the experience of ‘a day in the life’ of a food producer.

This Option is more research based and requires the use of an equipped ICT room whereby students are encouraged to develop their ICT and business skills.

This Option allows students to research the food producer
They will engage in aspects of the production process of a food product.
It provides students with the opportunity to form a support group for the producer in areas such as:

  • product development
  • market research
  • digital marketing
  • advertising
  • product packaging and label design
    And, if feasible, a sales event.

    It allows students the opportunity to conduct research on an aspect of the business as it currently exists and develop proposals to present to the producer.

    It requires that students critically analyse aspects of a food business.
    Allows for flexibility on the part of the teacher to include aspects of sensory analysis and HACCP Education.

If you are unsure which Option to choose you can contact our Project Office at any time on 01 522 4854 or via email at futureisfood@realnation.ie

Key Themes of the Unit

During the course of ‘The Future is Food’ Unit, students will encounter two primary themes. These are the cornerstones of ‘The Future is Food’, and are outlined in more detail below:

Artisan – ‘The Future is Food’ allows students to examine the term “Artisan” and what it means in terms of the FSAI guideline for its use relating to all foods placed on the Irish market. This guideline is as follows:

The terms ‘artisan’ or ‘artisanal’ should only be used on foods or in advertising of foods that can legitimately claim to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The food is made in limited quantities by skilled craftspeople
  2. The processing method is not fully mechanised and follows a traditional method
  3. The food is made in a micro-enterprise at a single location
  4. The characteristic ingredient(s) used in the food are grown or produced locally, where seasonally available and practical

If you are an artisan producer, this is something that you could think about examining with the students, raising important topics such as craftsmanship, contribution to local community and environment.

Entrepreneurship – ‘The Future Is Food’ Unit educates students in the processes of designing, launching and running a food business. It allows students to demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills both theoretically and practically. By linking with a local food entrepreneur, this theme can be embedded further and provide the students with the opportunity to see first-hand how businesses work, and the importance of the Irish food industry to the economy.

The Role of a Local Food Producer/Entrepreneur

An optional element to the programme is involving a local food producer or entrepreneur to act as a mentor for the programme. Working with a mentor can really add value to the student’s experience. Why not do some research to identify local food producers in your community and invite them to engage with the programme in your school?


Teachers sign up form

You can register using our online Teacher Registration Form.

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