British Food Fortnight 2021
The annual celebration of Britain’s diverse culinary talent is underway with multiple communities and organisations participating in festivities until 3rd October.
Organiser, Love British Food, is being supported by commercial and in-house caterering providers, trade associations and community organisations with a range of activities, including:
- Foodie lessons and special menus in hundreds of schools. Teachers are organising special lessons to teach the young about the food grown on their doorstep. School catering managers are running British Food Fortnight menus. And the Local Authority Caterers Association is supporting at a national level.
- Menu promotions in pubs, restaurants and major food service venues. There will be British Food Fortnight menus in your local pub and restaurants. Catering facilities in venues as diverse as the Houses of Parliament, the British Army, schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, HM Prisons and farm shop cafes are taking part!
- NHS Trusts are organising British Food Fortnight menus in hospitals across the country. The Chair of the Hospital Food Review who also leads on food as part of the NHS England Improvement Programme is encouraging NHS catering managers to celebrate British produce in staff and visitor areas and on patient menus.
- The University Caterers Organisation is encouraging its members to create special menus using British ingredients and to highlight British food on student menus. Universities are using British Food Fortnight as a great opportunity to support local businesses, raise awareness to British ingredients and educate young people about healthy, quality produce in the university environment. Fresher’s Week coincides with the Fortnight in many universities so it is the perfect time to celebrate!
- British Food Fortnight promotions, meet the producer events and tastings in shops and markets. Look out for seasonal British food in the major supermarkets.
- Hundreds of care homes are taking part as they do every year. British Food Fortnight is hugely popular with residents. Special menus and lots of fun activities are planned. The National Association of Care Catering is encouraging Local Authority Caterers and independent care home operators to embrace the national foodie celebrations.
- Communities are coming together to celebrate the food produced on their doorstep during British Food Fortnight. Villages, market towns and large cities are marking the national food celebrations. British Food Fortnight takes place at the traditional time for celebrating the harvest so it is a time worn tradition for communities to come together.
- Wonderfully joyful food festivals giving people the opportunity to meet some of Britain’s very best producers. From Thame Food Festival in Oxfordshire, to the Ginger and Spice Festival in Shropshire to the Abergavenny Food Festival in Wales; there are fabulous events for all the family to enjoy.
- Lots of activity on social media – follow @LoveBritishFood for all the latest updates from the organiser’s brand ambassadors during the Fortnight.
Participating in the Fortnight is hospitality services provider, Bennett Hay, with a campaign that combines social media activity, in-house activities, and wider understanding of the achievements of artisans and makers from its team. The campaign is also drawing on new trends caused by the effects of Brexit and a new consumer mindset towards eating and personal wellness (as is typified by the growing popularity of meat-free diets) post-Covid-19.
Co-founder, Robin Hay, explains: “It’s an uplifting time for British produce which is being driven by a new set of dynamics. For some time, Bennett Hay has focussed on bringing the best of British to the plate and we see the next two weeks, and far beyond, as a huge opportunity for everyone in the hospitality profession to fly the flag for British farmers, growers and makers”.
Wholesale fresh produce distributor, Nature’s Choice, is also supporting the Fortnight. Director, Vernon Mascarenhas, adds: “There is a huge emphasis on British grown produce as menus become less reliant on imported perishables. For suppliers such as ourselves it’s great news as demand is up and from a chef’s perspective, they are having to create menus that genuinely reflect the seasonal harvest from the British Isles.
“We’re all very used to the term ‘nose to tail eating’ and we’re now seeing chefs bring the zero-waste value to vegetables and fruits as they seek to eat ‘flower to stalk’. Beetroot, which is in its prime during British Food Fortnight, is a brilliant example; the root is eaten, the stems are eaten and the leaves too.
“We are also encouraging our people to be savvier to the value of available food per sq. foot. For example, we encourage the use of purple sprouting as it’s a brassica that can be cut and it will grow again unlike broccoli. We are trying hard to address our consumers’ awareness about provenance and the importance they place on the wider protection of the planet.”