FOLLOWING CALLS from the environment secretary for UK consumers to buy more British-produced food, corporate sustainability champion Footprint has launched its Buy British, Boost Britain initiative aimed at providing support to the hospitality sector to source home-grown food.
The initiative, which is open to any business operating in the hospitality and catering sector, will offer senior professionals and buyers of some of the largest catering outfits in the country impartial, independent advice on sourcing British produce at levels suited to their needs. It also seeks to create a platform for those already committed to a local sourcing policy to share best practice.
The organisation, which works with companies across the foodservice supply chain, offers practical advice and support to its members who commit to developing Corporate Social Responsibility policies, as well as facilitating open conversation and engagement around the issues in a non-competitive environment. Footprint is now calling on the entire foodservice industry to get behind the initiative and pledge to source at least 25% of its food from British-based producers, to help boost the economy.
It is also calling on Owen Paterson to back the scheme by creating legislation to help caterers feeding the nation’s sick and its children to source British food through business incentive programmes.
Speaking about Buy British, Boost Britain, Charles Miers, Managing Director of Footprint, said it was the "responsibility of all" to work towards boosting the economy through practices that would have a genuine impact, adding: "A huge amount of work is going into the British agenda in contract catering. We encourage those who are doing some incredible work, to come forth, be counted and act as inspiration for those looking to follow suit.
"We also hope that it will show the Government the great work that has been done, implore them to offer support, and step in to help create investment opportunities for food producers, in order to ensure the work can continue. There is no point in asking anyone to buy British if we aren’t also helping UK producers increase output.
"This initiative could really help bolster Britain as it attempts to recover from the economic downturn. By sourcing a minimum of 25% of food from UK farmers and growers, businesses will be pumping millions into the local economy, ultimately creating new employment opportunities and helping many growers to expand.”
Footprint works with some of the largest food companies in the UK, as well as a host of smaller, independent businesses. Footprint also works closely with a number of organisations such as Assured Food Standards, and is advising food companies wishing to source more British products to look out for the Red Tractor logo. This assures consumers of the quality and traceability of the products they are buying and the union flag in the logo means that it has been farmed, processed and packed in the UK.
If you would like to make a pledge, or find out more about recommended British suppliers, please get in touch with the team here [email protected]
Those committing to the pledge will be publically announced to the industry at large by means of an open letter to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Friday the 28th of February.