The NFU, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Red Tractor and Love British Food are uniting to coordinate a calendar of events for the autumn of 2016 which has been designated the 'Year of British Food' by the Government.
The campaign starts with a Back British Farming day in September, followed by an autumn of driving consumer awareness of British, assured food. This activity includes Red Tractor Week, British Food Fortnight, a 12 week Red Tractor on-pack promotion across retailers and foodservice operators, supporting TV and in-store advertising campaigns and British sausage week in November. The NFU will be helping schools integrate farming education into their harvest festivals with the addition of ‘Why the Harvest Matters’ resources to supplement its existing ‘Why Farming Matters’ education pack.
The plans will be unveiled at a special great British breakfast launch event today (April 27) at Farmers and Fletchers in The City, in the presence of Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: "I’m pleased to see our farming organisations collaborating and coming together to champion great British food and the thousands of farmers and growers who produce it every day of the year. I hope this plan of action will help showcase British food which, as we know, is the best in the world.
"It is also so important that British farming is recognised for the key role it plays, not only in producing great food but in its contribution to the country’s economy, in creating jobs, as well as the beautiful and diverse rural landscape that attracts millions of tourists every year."
Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "Our food industry has so much to be proud of – whether it is the seafood from our spectacular coastline or the world’s most delicious beef, lamb, milk and cheese our farmers bring us from the hills and pastures around the UK.
"That is why we launched the Year of Great British Food to champion the best of British food at home and abroad.
"I’m delighted to see our world-leading food and farming industry celebrating British food and drink to help grow our food industry further.
"With 3.8 million people employed in the food chain we know it is vital for our economic future we make British food and farming all it can be and I am determined to work closely with the farming industry to harness innovation and technology, develop new skills and promote our rich food heritage."
Christine Watts, chief communications and market development officer, AHDB said: "Consumers are telling us they need new ideas for meals and faster cooking times. As we look to meet consumers changing quality, price and life-style demands we are proud this autumn to see new products promoted in the mini-roast category as part of this coordinated activity campaign. We will be linking levy payer funded mini roast promotion to supermarkets and consumers, encouraging shoppers to select a mini roast as a convenient mid-week meal."
Red Tractor Assurance chairman Jim Moseley said: "This year’s coordinated campaign of consumer activity gives Red Tractor and the farming and food industry a huge opportunity to communicate the values of British, Red Tractor assured food. We know that over two thirds of shoppers recognise the Red Tractor logo and over half are more likely to purchase foods when they see it on-pack. Our activity programme will give consumers an even better understanding of the great standards to which assured food is produced and further increase consumer loyalty and purchasing of Red Tractor labelled products."
Alexia Robinson, Founder, Love British Food, said: "Love British Food is delighted that the whole farming industry is uniting to celebrate British food. We have been doing this on our own since 2002 when British Food Fortnight was founded in response to the foot and mouth crisis that bought farming to its knees. It is great that the whole industry is now working together on a coordinated calendar of events to celebrate British food this autumn."