education

Dubai children play dairy farmer for a day

Pop-up farm by Arla Foods at The Lakes Community Club celebrates World School Milk Day

Staff Report
13:49 September 26, 2017

Dubai: Children in Dubai became a dairy farmer for a day, learning how organic milk is produced at an interactive model farm at The Lakes Community Club.

The pop-up farm was hosted recently in celebration of World School Milk Day (September 27) by dairy company Arla Foods, which is also launching Arla Organic Milk in the UAE. It enabled primary schoolchildren to trace the journey of milk from farm to fridge.

At the farm, children re-enacted milking a cow, learnt about the pasteurisation process, transported the milk on mini-tractors and saw how the milk is packed at the dairy to ensure that consumers were getting clean and safe milk in every drop.

Arla organic farmers from Denmark were also in attendance so that the children could meet the person who makes their milk and ask them any questions they might have. On completion of the journey, the children got to sample a glass of Arla Organic Milk and learn the importance of drinking milk as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Robert MacDonald, a teacher from Star International School, Mirdif, who participated in the experience, said, “For many children living in Dubai, they would have never been to a farm before and most likely have never seen pastures of grass or cows either. This was a fun and educational way for them to gain a better understanding of the organic farming process and learn through a hands-on experience where Arla’s Organic Milk comes from.”

Arla farmer Torben Sønderby, from Denmark, said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to educate children about organic farming. Understanding how food is produced is a great way to form lifelong healthy eating habits. As well as learning the benefits of drinking milk from an early age, the children were taught how to take good care of the cows. In organic farming, that means giving them space to roam on lush green fields, when weather permits, and avoiding chemicals on the pastures in order to produce high-quality, great-tasting milk.”

Ann-Camilla Kjaempe, category director at Arla Foods, said the aim of this event was not only to promote the importance of milk in the growth and development of schoolchildren, but also to give children in the UAE a better understanding of the source of their food.

She added: “We are delighted to be launching Arla Organic Milk in the UAE and it provides the perfect platform for us to start telling and showcasing our organic story. The idea of this pop-up farm experience was to not only get children engaging with the farming process but also get them excited about it. Farmers play such an important role in our food production and, from being in the shoes of an Arla farmer for a day, the children learn how milk from a cow in the fields of Northern Europe can make its way to a fridge in the UAE and still retain its organic goodness.”