PM backs food campaign

THE Prime Minister has backed a move to encourage consumers to ask where the food on their plate comes from. Tony Blair and Environment Secretary David Miliband were joined by celebrity chef Lesley Waters from BBC's Ready Steady Cook at the launch of the Country Land & Business Association's Just Ask campaign at Downing Street.

THE Prime Minister has backed a move to encourage consumers to ask where the food on their plate comes from.

Tony Blair and Environment Secretary David Miliband were joined by celebrity chef Lesley Waters from BBC's Ready Steady Cook at the launch of the Country Land & Business Association's Just Ask campaign at Downing Street.

It will encourage the public to ask where their food comes from whenever they are out for a meal, whether in a hotel, restaurant, pub, canteen or fast-food outlet - so enabling them to make an informed choice about the food they eat.

Mr Miliband said: “Whether you are eating in a roadside cafe or at a Michelin star restaurant, I think there is something satisfying about knowing where the food on your plate comes from and the sense of connection that comes from eating local food.”


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The CLA's eastern region branch has already selected a local caterer - Patricia Sharman & Company, based near Ipswich - who sources food from local suppliers to cater at its stands at the Suffolk and Norfolk county shows.

Regional director Nicola Currie said: “Just asking where the food on your plate comes from is the first step in raising awareness of British food. Too often a chef, waiter or proprietor won't know.

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“We intend to change that and, in the process, use consumer pressure to help ensure that we end up with more British food on our plates, increasing the amount of local suppliers and producers in the UK food chain. British food ensures British farms and local producers have a future and can continue to provide the countryside we all enjoy.”

Suffolk food campaigner and CLA member Caroline Cranbrook, who was last year awarded an OBE for services to the red meat industry, added: “All the research I have done shows that British consumers are anxious about their food, and want to be reconnected with the people who produce and provide it. Whether it's a beef burger or a Boeuf Wellington, they want to know where the meat came from, and it's the same with the ingredients of other dishes too.

“What's interesting is that in the last year alone, I have found that people want to buy local food because of their concern over food miles - a concern that has risen rapidly to the top of their agenda.”

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