IN A record first for the Capital, a full sized red commercial tractor - an iconic farming symbol - was lifted into the East Wintergarden in the heart of London's financial district today to mark the signing of the Buy British, Boost Britain pledge which will be sent to the Secretary of State.
Senior professionals and hospitality industry leaders from some of the biggest foodservice companies in the country came together to sign the pledge which outlines their commitment to supporting British agriculture through its sourcing policies.
The Buy British, Boost Britain campaign was launched in January 2014 by corporate sustainability champions Footprint in recognition of the huge economic impact that was being made by the Foodservice sector in buying food produced in the UK. The campaign sought to bring the sector together in one pledge to continue its hard work, as well as calling for the government to do their bit and ensure that higher demand for UK food was met by increased investment and support.
The unusual sight of a Massey Ferguson in Canary Wharf served to highlight the holistic approach needed to improve the UK economy long-term, marrying traditional industries with the newer banking sector highlighting the varied economy in Britain and the ways in which different - and often seemingly unconnected - sectors feed into one another.
Speaking on the day Nick Fenwicke-Clennell, Chief Executive of Footprint, commented: "The Foodservice sector should be hugely proud of its successful efforts to improve the wider industry through sourcing best practice, often with little or no recognition of the fact. And yet, the Foodservice sector buys millions of pounds worth of food, employing thousands of people and supporting - through local sourcing policies - the employment of countless others in the UK.”
Charles Miers, Managing Director of Footprint, added: "In order for the sector to continue its commitment we now call upon the government to commit to policies that support the growth of agriculture in the UK, and to invest in farming education and advancement in techniques. This is really what Buy British, Boost Britain is all about - bringing the different facets together to understand what is being done, what needs to be done to continue best practice and to drive the delivery of these actions."
Companies committed to the Buy British, Boost Britain campaign are committed to sourcing a minimum of 25% ambient product from UK producers. Many of them are already buying as much as 80% fresh produce from British sources.
Those companies signing the pledge are:
Sprit Pub Company