Next time you sit down to eat your Sunday dinner, tuck into a fish and chip supper on a Friday night, indulge in an afternoon tea or even just spoon in a mouthful of cereal, take a moment to think about where that food came from.
How did it end up on your plate or in your bowl? Where did it start its journey to putting a smile on your face and filling that rumble in your tummy?
The answer is probably one of the 149,000 British farms that make up the backbone of our country.
And it’s probably one of our British farmers – heroes of the food and drink industry – who helped to make sure you’re enjoying something delicious.
British Food Fortnight starts with British Farming
The next two weeks is a big one for the UK food and drink industry. British Food Fortnight celebrates all the amazing contributions that British food and drink producers make to our country, to our everyday lives.
It recognises how the industry is thriving.
We caught up with some brilliant British food and drink producers over the last couple of months to celebrate their successes – and discover all their secrets to creating a sustainable food and drink business.
Those celebrations, that produce, and the entire food and drink industry… they all start with British farming.
Without our British farmers, there couldn’t be a British Food Fortnight.
British Farming is a Family Affair
Chances are you won’t have to look far to find some home grown British food – whether that’s on a plate in your Local, or still growing in a nearby field.
Maybe you’re growing some strawberries in your back garden? Maybe a relative has some carrots and onions in their allotment? Or perhaps you get milk delivered from the farm just up the road?
A whopping 71% of land in the UK is used for agriculture in one way or another – from oat fields for your cereals, orchards for your cider, or grazing areas for sheep and cattle.
You probably know someone who works in or with British farmers without even realising it.
And the great thing about British farms – they’re almost all run by families or individuals, not big companies. Around 90% in fact. Often it’s the same family who have worked that land for generations to help us put delicious British food on our plates.
All the highly successful food and drink producers we spoke to were family owned and operated, each having grown up on or fully embraced the British farming lifestyle. It’s one of the secrets to their success.
Chances are you’ll be very familiar with British farms growing British food – it’s just not something we think about.
We take it for granted.
British Food and British Farming is an essential part of our economy
While we might not think about the origins of our food or the farmers who work tirelessly to make sure we’re well fed – British farming is the lifeblood of our economy.
Directly and indirectly, it’s responsible for the livelihood of millions of people. From the supply chain through to new technologies, hospitality to conservation, British farming touches every industry.
It’s a sector that helps power our economy, worth over £120 billion. In 2019, food and drink exports increased in value to a huge £23.6 billion – thanks to the 45% of food produced by British farmers that’s exported to and enjoyed by the rest of the world.
British farming creates jobs, it drives innovation, it fosters sustainable working practices and it feeds a nation.
Our farms help us secure our future
Without our farms, we wouldn’t have a British Food Fortnight to celebrate. They make sure we have delicious food and drink to consume every day, by working tirelessly – under every weather condition imaginable – every single day.
There’s no holidays for farmers.
Of the food we eat as a nation – 64% comes directly from British farms.
British farming – British food – feeds us. Quite literally, from field to fork. It’s a security blanket few other nations have, and it’s one we can’t afford to lose.
Our farms and our food help provide a sustainable, self-sufficient future for us. They’re essential for our nation.
But of course, it’s more than just economic contributions, food security, and the health of the UK.
It’s about delicious tastes and wonderful flavours. A perfectly sizzling steak, a mouthwatering scone dripping with jam and cream, and the freshest fruit and veg imaginable.
The amazing British food we’re so lucky to enjoy every day – and the success of the food and drink industry – is thanks to our British farmers and producers.
Hear directly from some of those successful British growers – and discover how they created some of the best food and drink companies in the UK – with our free, downloadable “Recipes For Success” ebook.
It’s a great place to start for advice and inspiration during #BritishFoodFortnight.