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Press Release: British Food Fortnight 2013 - more opportunities than ever for farmers to get involved

Press Release: British Food Fortnight 2013 - more opportunities than ever for farmers to get involved

British Food Fortnight (21st September to 6th October 2013) is spearheading a major new campaign to reinvigorate the tradition of celebrating the harvest and is rallying farmers to reach out to the wider community and encourage everyone to get involved.

The NFU is supporting the campaign and NFU President Peter Kendall said: “The NFU is proud to be supporting British Food Fortnight. Consumers have been fantastic at supporting our great British farmers who, despite facing incredibly challenging weather and economic pressures in the last 12 months, have continuously produced great British food.

“So in recognition of the huge effort farmers have made up and down the country, the NFU will be helping to promote British Food Fortnight events and encouraging our members to take part. We want to help make it a fortnight to remember for everyone involved, and to drive home the message that farmers need consumers to keep on supporting them by buying British wherever possible.”

What’s Happening? A HarvestLottery for schools; a challenge to find the community organising the most imaginative harvest celebration; a call to the young to create a new harvest anthem; and culminating in a huge British Food Fortnight Harvest celebration at Westminster Abbey. Plus the event’s annual drive to encourage shops, pubs and restaurants to run British food promotions during the Fortnight.

There are more opportunities than ever for farmers to get involved:

Bring Home the Harvest in your Community: In association with The Telegraph the search is on to find the farmer, business or community that organises the most innovative, inclusive and imaginative harvest celebration during British Food Fortnight. It could be a meet-the-producer harvest gathering organised by a farm shop; door-stop and street sales of produce; harvest-swap shops of home-produced food in the workplace or local clubs; harvest suppers for the elderly; 8-80s barn dance knees-ups; food and music festivals; scarecrow competitions; harvest loaf bake-a-thons; harvest suppers in pubs; or even parades of producers, tractors and livestock through towns. The organisers want people to have fun and give the French and the German wine and beer festivals a run for their money!

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges from the world of food and farming including: The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Raymond Blanc, Alan Titchmarsh and Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco. The winners will be featured in The Telegraph and will be presented with The Telegraph & Love British Food Best Harvest Celebration 2013 trophy by The Secretary of State.

“The British harvest brings in some of the best fresh produce in the world. I'm thrilled to have been asked to judge these awards and look forward to joining communities and businesses across the country in celebrating British food.”
Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

“Harvest has long been a time for British people to celebrate their food and the communities that produced it. Supporting local farming and food is becoming more important in all our communities and for retailers like Tesco which serve them. As a country we are rediscovering our appreciation of food and farming, community and cooking. I am delighted to help judge this competition which seeks out the best of that tradition.”
Philip Clarke CEO, Tesco

Search for a new harvest anthem and Britain’s first ever digital harvest celebration! Calling Britain’s young to create a new anthem for a modern day harvest celebration, have fun and have a chance at making history! In association with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and working with the Scouts and The Girls Brigade, we are asking young people everywhere to get rapping, writing and singing and create a harvest anthem for today: a new ‘We plough the fields and scatter’, a new harvest number one to inspire a new generation. The piece will become the anthem for this year’s British Food Fortnight. Very excitingly it is being judged by Professor Paul Mealor who composed the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding; and Millie Wastie, chairman of council of the NFYFC. Paul’s five tips for making your entry a success are on the Bring Home the Harvest section on .

“I am delighted to be involved in Love British Food's search for a new harvest anthem and am looking forward to seeing how the harvest theme has been interpreted in new and interesting ways. I hope that this competition will garner a new enthusiasm for the celebration of British produce at harvest time amongst young people.”

Professor Paul Mealor, composer of the music for the royal wedding

Harvest Lottery for schools: All schools in the UK are being invited to enter a Harvest Lottery to win their place in Westminster Abbey at a spectacular British Food Fortnight harvest service that is being held especially for children in October. To enter the lottery, schools are being asked to create a harvest box that celebrates the food produced in their part of the country. Each harvest box will need to contain three elements: fruit and vegetables the children have grown themselves; food they have cooked in class; and a selection of food from local producers in their part of the country. 800 children from 40 schools will be selected by lottery to join VIPs and celebrities in Westminster Abbey where their harvest boxes will be presented and distributed to members of the community afterwards.

"I much hope this competition will give hundreds of children the chance to experience the joys of digging up potatoes they have grown themselves, picking runner beans and finding exciting recipes to cook. Your harvest boxes will be brimming with wonderful produce and I am hugely looking forward to hearing how schools take part.”

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall who launched the competition

Harvest fare on shop shelves and menus: Pubs and restaurants, from the small to the very big food service outlets - led by ARAMARK, the event’s long standing sponsor - are invited to join in with celebratory harvest menus during British Food Fortnight. And shops, from small independents to the major supermarkets, are invited to highlight the harvest in store with special food promotions and offers to get their customers involved.

Organiser Alexia Robinson says: “We want to bring Harvest Festival into the 21st century and make it relevant and fun in the modern day. This year’s British Food Fortnight is all about showing that everyone can get involved in celebrating the harvest: at home or at work, in your local pub, on your street, out shopping, in your children's school or online. Farmers are the heroes of the harvest and we hope they will embrace this initiative and take a lead in getting their communities involved.”

WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP FARMERS TAKE PART? All the details farmers need to take part are on – there is a brand new section dedicated to the history of Harvest Festival and how to celebrate it: details of all the competitions, entry forms and lots of ideas for taking part. Keep up to date with all the latest on the harvest campaign on Twitter @LoveBritishFood .

WHO IS BEHIND BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT? British Food Fortnight is sponsored by ARAMARK and is supported by a large family of organisations led by Brakes, E-foods, Hallmark Care Homes, Harrison Catering and Whiting and Hammond.


Notes to Editors:

For further press information and jpegs of the brand new British Food Fortnight ‘Bring Home the Harvest’ logo, please contact Alexia or Catherine on T: 020 7840 9292 E: