ADAM HENSON URGES US TO BUY BRITISH

PUBLISHED: 15:12 02 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 August 2017

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Join the British foodie revolution that buys local for pantry and plate

How much of your weekly grocery shop comes from the UK?

It’s a question that keeps coming back. We’ve been encouraged to support British producers for as long as I can remember. Way back in 1968 a campaign called I’m backing Britain’ tried to boost productivity and around the same time shoppers were being spurred on to Buy British’. In truth, neither tactic had much success but nearly 50 years later, the spirit behind those crusades lives on.

Over the last couple of years the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has been very vocal about our food self-sufficiency. NFU figures state that at the moment 60% of the country’s food needs come from farms and producers in the UK. However they predict the figure will drop to just 53% over the course of the next 25 years. If those numbers prove correct and we end up relying on imports for almost half our food, the organisation is worried about future jobs in farming, food security and the rural economy. In fact to press home its point, the NFU has its own campaign, Back British Farming’, accompanied by a Union flag logo.

But one recent intervention in the debate over where our food comes from stole the headlines. Although you have to expect that to happen when a member of the royal family speaks out. The Prince of Wales called on shoppers to buy home-grown produce instead of imported food. It was part of his wider support for family farms and his long establish belief that consumer choice can help save the countryside.

Of course not everyone agrees with Prince Charles and some of his previous statements have proved controversial. But when it comes to boosting British food, he’s clearly the farmers’ friend and an informed champion of rural Britain. After all, in these islands we have a wealth of world-class produce of which to be proud. Our fruit and vegetables include delicious Jersey royal potatoes, Evesham asparagus, Fenland celery and Armagh Bramley apples. The choice of British cheeses range from West Country farmhouse cheddar all the way to Yorkshire Wensleydale. Then there are wonderful meat products like Cumberland sausage, Stornoway black pudding and Melton Mowbray pork pies. I could go on to include a whole array of fresh meat, dairy, fish, bread and baked goods, cider, perry, wine, beer and much more. As someone who has lived and worked on farms all my life, I couldn’t agree more with the Prince when he says that we need to do everything we can to keep our farmers farming.

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