Case Study: Dudley Zoo
In 2014 Dudley Zoological Gardens spread the word about the importance of buying beautiful British Food for some of the world's rarest creatures, who celebrated British Food Fortnight with a seasonal feast!
Keepers were kept busy distributing onions, carrots, potatoes and late salad crops, along with apples and pears, to 200 species across the 1,800-strong collection at the heart of England. And they were also been busy spreading the word about the very Best of British that's grown on the doorstep.
Dudley schoolboy, 15-year-old Harry Lewis, joined DZG's during a week-long placement at the Zoo, helping to spread the Best Of British message among his schoolfriends via a video.
Harry, a pupil at Ellowes Hall School, who wrote the script and helped direct and produce the video, said: "I had no idea that Dudley Zoo is so involved with British food. It was amazing to learn all about the different meats and vegetables and find out where they come from across the country and also to see how staff prepare and distribute the produce. It was really interesting to learn about British Food Fortnight and to see how important it is to DZG and I did my best to get that message across in the video which went on Youtube."
Watch Harry’s video
DZG Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said: "From magnificent Sumatran tigers to cheeky small primates, all of our animals enjoy a well-balanced diet that takes advantage of seasonal produce. While dealing with big chain supermarkets would offer a cheaper option we choose to buy seasonal foods from small, local suppliers ensuring the very Best of British for our 200+ exotic and endangered species. We source locally-grown food, bought from suppliers on our doorstep, and opt for seasonal produce wherever possible. And with an annual food bill topping 120,000 we have to make sure our pennies buy the very best of British produce. Fruits and vegetables are purchased from neighbouring counties, but the site's freshest food - fish for our Patagonian sealion and the UK's largest colony of 68 rare Humboldt penguins - arrives from Grimsby within hours of being caught."
Jill added: "There are more than 1,800 animals at DZG representing 200 species, and that's a lot of mouths to feed. Our current annual food bill comes in at £120,700, which is more than 2,300 per week; we have to find those funds regardless of a poor season or low visitor figures, so we really need to get best value for money which is why we buy British."