British food event aims to promote cooking with local food

A national advertising campaign with the theme "Think Quality, Think British" should be launched to educate the public on how to cook locally grown fruit and vegetables.

This was the claim of British Food Fortnight (BFF) founder Alexia Robinson, who told growers at last week's Oxford Farming Conference that strong promotion is the key to communicating the excellence of British food to consumers.

She said: "It is vital to educate the next generation of consumers on how to cook. Otherwise, in 20 years' time, consumers will be incapable of cooking the excellent vegetables and fruit you grow."

Robinson said she believes a budget of £750,000 would be required to undertake a successful TV advertising campaign, but a speaker from the floor disputed this figure, saying that much larger amounts would be required.

However, Robinson - who founded BFF five years ago in response to the foot-and-mouth crisis - said she has already achieved significant success against a modest budget of £150,000.

The "Buy British" message is seen or heard over 300 million times during each year's event and last year's festival saw BFF's website receive 5.8 million hits.

When asked how she visualised BFF's image in 20 years' time, Robinson said that something similar to Red Nose Day would be ideal.

This year's BFF takes place from 20 September until 5 October.

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