CELEBRATE BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT
By Georgina Stey
This year British Food Fortnight goes back to its roots and invites everyone to celebrate the harvest through the many activities that take place across the country during the national food promotion. When the event was first held in 2002 it was conceived as a modern day Harvest Festival with the aim of reinvigorating this national celebration that was declining alongside lessening church congregations. British Food Fortnight was started, would you believe, with the support of ten vicars who helped to organise activities in communities across Britain under the umbrella of the new national food promotion – from those small beginnings it has grown into the huge event it is today!
But you don’t have to go to Church to celebrate the Harvest! You can do so at home, in your garden, in the restaurant at your place of work, in your local pub, on the streets with community celebrations, out shopping, in your children’s school or online.
With such great food and produce countywide, Northamptonshire and the Midlands really has something to shout about. So, whether you are a retailer, producer, restaurateur or pub join Extra Local between September 21st and October 6th and get behind British food in 2013.
How can retailers take part?
Increase your stock of British Food during the Fortnight – it is a great time to launch new products.
Highlight British Food in-store using Union Jack flags. Become a Love British Food member and use the logo to show you are taking part!
Offer tastings and promotions to highlight new products and British products.
Invite producers into your shop as sales of product offered for tastings double when the producer is in-store.
Tell us at Extra Local what you are doing. Let us help you tell the community and your customers about your personal and business initiatives.
How can pubs, restaurants and hotels take part?
If you already have British Food on your menu, use British Food Fortnight to shout about it to your existing and potential customers.
If you do not already have British Food on your menu, British Food Fortnight is a great time to start.
Either adapt your existing menu or create a special board focusing on British or local produce.
Set yourself a target of at least five locally sourced dishes on your menu.
Highlight British Food on your menu by naming producers, using Union Jack flags as graphics.
Become a Love British Food member and use the LBF logo to show you are taking part!
If you are a shopper, how can you show your support?
Britain produces some of the best food and drink in the world so come and celebrate this by taking part in British Food Fortnight activities. Here is a list of things you can do to buy and eat more healthily, more variedly and to discover the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain has to offer:
Make a special effort to seek out British food
Shop in local butchers, greengrocers, farm shops and markets that source locally and will be able to tell you a little about the person who produced the food you are purchasing.
Seek out food in season
Look for, for example, celeriac, pears and game in October and fresh peas, cherries and lamb in July.
When next in the pub, team up a local beer with a local speciality for an authentic experience that reflects the character of the area where you live. Ask the pub staff to point you to local food on their menu.
Think beyond the chicken nugget when planning a family meal out. If there is not a good children’s menu ask for children-sized portions of the main meals.
Explore food from different regions of Britain as a fun way of experiencing our culture and heritage. Though there is still much bland, mass-produced food that belies little of the region it has come from, organisations like the National Trust and The Garden Centre Group make a special point of serving quality regionally distinct produce from local producers.
The Trust has 150 restaurants and tearooms and it’s fruit and vegetables are sourced in season from sustainable local producers.
Shop in your local Country Market or visit one of the many food festivals taking place around the country.
Visit your local Garden Centre
If sampling delicious locally sourced food is an important part of your weekend then a visit to an on-site cafe is the perfect way to enjoy wonderful British food.
Cook a British meal for friends
Nothing beats the old favourites like Cottage Pie or Apple Crumble. Consider inviting friends round for a British food feast.
Pick your own
What is better or healthier than being able to enjoy fresh fruit selected and picked by yourself. Visit your local fruit farms nearby or rummage in the hedgerows for blackberries.
Make the most of your budget
Dispel the myth that eating local or British food will break the bank!
Hundreds of activities are taking place across the country during British Food Fortnight.
The event is the biggest showcase of food on the national calendar and celebrates its twelfth year with more activities than ever before for people to get involved, with a particular emphasis on schools, communities and young people. This years theme is “Bring Home the Harvest” and includes a Harvest lottery for children; a challenge to find the community organising the most imaginative and inclusive harvest event and a call to the young to create a new harvest anthem, all culminating in a huge British Food Fortnight Harvest celebration at Westminster Abbey.
EXTRA LOCAL and the organisers of British Food Fortnight and the Love British Food campaign want to hear from you!
Let us know what you are organizing and we will do our best to list it on the website and on the food and drink pages in the papers.
Please send your details, news, success stories with images
WHATS ON AND WHERE
British Food Fortnight at Doddington Hall Farm Shop, Doddington, Lincs
Melton Mowbray Beer Festival, cattle market
Beer festival at The Wheel Inn, Branston, Vale of Belvoir
South African Wine Tasting at Hambleton Hall, from noon
Great Taste Festival of Food & Drink, Clumber Park, Notts
Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival, Warwickshire
Rockingham Castle Food & Craft Fair, Rockingham Castle
Amps Fine Wines of Oundle’s New Zealand Pinot Noir tasting, from 7.30pm at The Falcon, Fotheringhay
The Great Notts Show, Old Market Square, Nottingham
Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, Suffolk
Perkins Wine Series 3: The ‘Natural Wine’ Phenomenon, talk, tasting and dinner with Doug Wregg, Perkins Restaurant, Plumtree, Notts
September 21 -22
Lincolnshire Food Festival
This artisan food event will exhibit the freshest and highest quality food.
Manor Farm Shop & Tearoom British Celebration Produce, such as jams, ice creams and cheeses, from around the country.