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Public sector catering leaders call for greater emphasis on ‘buying British’ produce

3rd Apr 2024 - 07:00
Greater emphasis on ‘buying British’ produce
A trio of public sector catering leaders including Phil Shelley, Tim Radcliffe and Cathy Amos have called on the industry to buy more British produce for their menus.

Love British Food’s Public Sector Influencers event, which took place on 20th March at Stuart Roberts’ Hammonds End Farm in Hertfordshire, aimed to connect public sector decision makers with British food producers, farmers and suppliers.

Phil Shelley, chair NHS Food Review and national lead for net zero Food at NHS England, said: “This was the first time that public sector leaders, providers, suppliers and farmers have gathered together to discuss the supply chain. Momentum is building as we in the public sector, want to buy more British food.

“I hope this event gave farmers the confidence to invest in supplying the public sector and helped all the buyers who attended understand the true value of buying British. There were plenty of frank discussions. What better place to have them, than on a farm. Thank you to Love British Food for organising.”

NHS caterers, dieticians and board members are invited to attend Love British Food’s next farm tours. The first takes place at Cross Lanes Organic Farm in County Durham in the spring of 2024 and the second event takes place at Carraig Dubh Dexters in Northern Ireland in the autumn of 2024.

Tim Radcliffe, net zero food programme manager at NHS England, added: “We need to embrace our British produce. We need to ensure that the food we serve reflects our culinary heritage and embraces our farming community. We have great producers of food here. We have great producers of food in this country. What we need to do is ensure it gets onto hospital menus. This is an amazing event.”

Love British Food has announced the 23rd edition of British Food Fortnight will take place from 20th September to 6th October 2024.

Cathy Amos, Brakes head of customer marketing, explained: “We’ve supported Love British Food for eight years now and we supply everybody with loads of great British produce and meats and poultry and we do everything we can to work with seasonality.

“We buy direct from growers, we buy direct from farmers, and we have lots of local small suppliers for our cheese and dairy and breads. So, it’s our ambition to grow our British offering, we want to work with more people and we want to support everybody to understand the importance of supporting the British and everything we produce and grow.”

Written by
Edward Waddell