British Food Fortnight started in 2001 as a way to help revive rural communities and inspire farmers after the devastating effects of the foot and mouth crisis on British agriculture.
Inspired by Harvest festival, the traditional autumnal time when communities come together to celebrate the produce of the land, British Food Fortnight is still going strong every September as a fun way to get the British public excited about local food and making the effort to buy British all year round.
At Chelmsford Star Co-operative, we are passionate about British food. We’ve been committed to sourcing goods from across the UK and supporting British farmers ever since we first formed, and not much has changed since. You’ll find us championing Essex growers and producers in all our stores as part of our ‘The Only Way Is Local’ range, so our members and customers can be confident that even when they pop in for essentials such as milk and eggs, they are supporting their region’s economy.
Buying British is about more than buying great tasting, top-quality food; as well as supporting local farmers, it also ensures a high standard of animal welfare. This is important to us, which is why we are proud to say that our British meat is always Red Tractor certified – so you can rest assured that your food has been produced to industry standards every step of the way.
There are plenty of ways to get involved with British Food Fortnight; from joining in online to visiting local food fairs and festivals, to seeking out restaurants using locally sourced produce. However, the simplest way to show support is simply by buying British – which we’re proud to have made incredibly easy by only using 100% British meat in our products, in everything from our sandwiches to our ready meals.
Did you know?
- Every farm we work with must meet strict health, welfare, and quality standards, carefully measured and monitored on a regular basis. We bring farmers together at events to discuss their challenges and share best practice.
- Sourcing British food matters to us – not just because it contributes to the UK economy and employment, but also because our customers expect it. It offers reassurance and helps them trust food security and sustainability – and, of course, a viable agricultural sector is essential to feed the UK’s growing population.
- Co-op has been labelling the origin of its own-brand products and key ingredients since 1997. What is legally required on the pack has changed since then, but the Co-op still gives information over and above what is required. We label the country or countries that the main ingredients in our products come from; be that beef in a ready meal, apples in an apple pie, or milk used in cheese.
Want to get involved? Visit here for ideas – https://www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/14-things-you-can-do
Find out more about Chelmsford Star Co-operative and ‘The Only Way is Local’ here – https://food.chelmsfordstar.coop/food/local-food-drink
Why buy British Food?
- British food travels less from farm to shop, so it has a lower carbon footprint than most imported foods.
- Eating British fruits and vegetables that are in season is good for you. Foods in season contain the nutrients, minerals and trace elements that our bodies need at particular times of the year. (Keep an eye out for our seasonal articles at the start of each month).
- British meat is produced to some of the highest welfare standards in the world: no growth-promoting hormones are allowed and any antibiotics are administered only under veterinary direction.
- British pig farmers operate by UK law to standards of welfare that are some of the highest in the world.
- Britain’s beef and sheep industries are the envy of the world; breeding livestock and genetics from our native breeds are much sought after by farmers in other countries. Protect our great native livestock industry by buying the real thing; not an imported substitute.
- Britain’s cattle passport system means that each animal can be uniquely traced to its dam (mother) and place of birth.
- British chicken is reared to some of the highest standards in the world.
- You will be supporting the British economy; everyone from the farmer to those who work in food processing and the shops, pubs and restaurants selling the food.
- You will play a part in protecting our environment, as much of Britain’s food is produced in a sustainable way that enhances the countryside.
- You will have the assurance of knowing what you are eating. Britain has some of the most robust food assurance and traceability systems in the world.
No sheep; no cows; no grains: no countryside!