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  • The impact of environmental damage on future generations and healthier eating are issues of increasing concern for UK families.

  • M&S, in partnership with HarperCollins Children’s Books has published Farm to Foodhall, The Magic Ingredient, an educational tool with a focus on sustainability that allows families to explore the origins of food together. 

Farm to Foodhall

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 July the 27th, and priced at just £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. 

Family Matters

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.  

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. 

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.

Juliet Matthews, Colour Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books said:

“We are delighted to have worked with Marks & Spencer on a truly collaborative project, creating a book that will not only entertain children but also deliver important learnings on sustainability and the journey of food from farm to foodhall. 

“We have combined the best ingredients of HarperCollins Children’s Books  –  compelling, beautifully illustrated stories accompanied by engaging activities – with fabulous recipes from the M&S Chef team, to create a book for young readers that we hope will inspire long-lasting conversations about responsible farming and the joys of food prepared with care and love.”

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Notes to editors:

The book and merchandise will be in stores from July the 27th, with the book priced at just £5. 

* The M&S Family Matters Index: 61% agree that they are worried or concerned about how environmental damage will affect future generations (those with children asked). Healthier eating was a discussion subject for 33% of respondents. 

**Arla study featured in MSN (November 2020)

HarperCollins Children’s Books, unprecedented three times winner of Children’s Publisher of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016) is one of the leading publishers of children’s books, recognised for nurturing new talent as well as boasting a reputable list of established bestselling authors. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children’s classics, including The Chronicles of Narnia, the Paddington stories, The Cat in the Hat and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and to some of the biggest names in children’s literature past and present, including David Walliams, Judith Kerr, David Baddiel, Lauren Child, Oliver Jeffers and Michael Morpurgo.