- WHATS HAPPENING?
A special summer of patriotic Love British Food celebrations is upon us followed in the autumn by the 15th running of British Food Fortnight, the much loved annual, national celebration of British food and drink, which takes place from 17th September – 2nd October. With the support of an exciting new sponsor, Co-op Food, there are hundreds of promotions and fun foodie events to look forward to.
- WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT SUMMER 2016?
Patriotic pride will take centre stage this summer with The Queens 90th Birthday and the sporting excitement of the Euros and the Olympics. Food and Royal occasions go hand in hand, as do food and sport, and Love British Food is putting British food at the heart of the nation’s celebrations. Special initiatives are being organised for children, families and communities:
Cake for The Queen: A competition challenging school children to create a spectacular patriotic cake for Her Majesty using healthy, British ingredients. The winning school will be treated to an exclusive tour of Buckingham Palace during British Food Fortnight.
Great British Feasts: Celebrate this Summer in your community: Communities will be given the chance to win a Co-op Summer Foodie Feast pack to help them hold a summer foodie party to celebrate British food and all that is great about summer 2016. Maybe a BBQ, a sporting celebration or just an opportunity for the community to come together for a summer party in the village hall.
- WHAT’S NEW FOR BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT THIS YEAR?
To top off the summer and taking place at the traditional time of the harvest, British Food Fortnight is a chance to celebrate all that is great about our delicious British produce. The Fortnight will be celebrated in Co-op food stores as well as in restaurants, visitor attractions, street markets, schools, hospitals, universities and care homes.
Activities will be led by Ambassadors Raymond Blanc and his son, Oli, and a National Committee including the National Trust, Sustainable Restaurant Association, Hospital Caterers Association, Women’s Institutes, National Association of British Market Authorities and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Celebrations of regional specialities and long lost recipes are planned and highlights include:
The most exciting community challenge yet! The national competition is in its 4th year and in 2016 searches for the most imaginative and colourful British food celebration during the Fortnight. From the residents of a tiny village coming together for a British tea party to multi-cultural inner city community meals made with local produce, the judges will be looking for resourcefulness, imagination and outreach.
Hundreds of British promotions in shops: Co-op Food, the official retail sponsor of the event, will be championing British food in its stores alongside many other activities such as tastings and meet-the-producer events. Hundreds of independent stores will be flying the flag in the high street across the country.
On the menu: British food will be embraced in the catering sector during the two weeks with care homes, restaurants and many others all putting British food on the menu. The public sector is also supporting the event en masse with major hospitals and school catering services, including Cucina Restaurants and Harrison Catering Services Ltd, planning special menus.
Eat your way around Britain during the Fortnight with hundreds of opportunities to enjoy British food. The National Trust are producing British recipe cards and organising foodie events in its properties. The National Association of British Market Authorities are encouraging markets nationwide to offer British produce and challenging consumers to a ‘market basket challenge’. Look out for foraging walks, food trails and fungi forays; Harvest Swap Shops; Plot to Plate cooking demonstrations; Meet the Farmer events; and food festivals that are being planned in more than half of the English counties. See the What’s Happening pages on www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for details of what is happening near you!
- WHY ARE THE CELEBRATIONS SO EXCITING THIS YEAR? Commenting on the plans, organiser Alexia Robinson says: “With Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday and Team GB’s efforts in Rio, 2016 looks set to become another milestone for the celebration of British produce. Patriotism will again be at fever-pitch and there is a significant opportunity to build upon the commercial success seen by food businesses during the celebrations of 2012, and simply, for individuals and communities to have a lot of fun whilst discovering British foods.”
Ambassador Raymond Blanc OBE says “We are encouraging everyone to celebrate British food in homes and in neighbourhoods across the land. Individuals, clubs and organisations can all get involved; there will be Royal themed street parties, there will be village cricket teas, there will be strawberries for Wimbledon, lunches and tastings. We have so many opportunities to source, celebrate and be proud of our great British produce. Let’s make 2016 another bumper year for British food”
Cathryn Higgs, Food Policy Manager at Co-op Food says: “Co-op Food is delighted to be the official sponsor for Love British Food Fortnight. We know food provenance really matters to our customers, which drives our enthusiasm to invest in the UK economy to provide an opportunity for British food to have pride of place in our British aisles. The ‘Great British Feasts’ are a fantastic way of getting our stores and the local community to celebrate food and drink this summer and we are pleased to be able support British Food Fortnight with such a wide range of exciting activities.”
- WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE TAKE PART? The event’s website www.lovebritishfood.co.uk is a one-stop-shop for consumers, retailers, caterers and schools wanting to enjoy British food. The site includes downloadable guides and case studies for retailers, caterers and schools, with a full Teacher Zone, as well as posters and bunting that people can use to take part in British Food Fortnight.
- WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE? To find out how you can take part and sign up for updates at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk