Press Release: The stage is set, the Harvest is home and you are invited
20th September to 5th October 2014 - sponsored by Tesco and Aramark
With the Scottish Referendum taking place as British Food Fortnight is about to commence, this year’s promotion has an added poignancy as it brings people together in celebration of the wonderfully diverse and delicious food that is produced across the British Isles.
The national food promotion heralds the return of the immensely popular Bring Home the Harvest campaign, which aims to rekindle the tradition of celebrating British food and the harvest across the nation; in homes, in the streets, in schools, churches, farms, hospitals, restaurants, pubs, shops, community centres and indeed any place that lends itself to celebrating with plenty of good food and community spirit! Tesco, British farming’s biggest customer, joins Aramark in sponsoring the event and Tesco stores will be leading the harvest celebrations around the country.
Why is celebrating British food and the harvest important?
Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss, who is leading the judging of the event’s Harvest Heroes competition, said: “Food and farming is hardwired into who we are – it’s a cornerstone of our local communities and a powerhouse of our economy.
I want us to lead the world in this vital area and capitalise on the revival of local food. I’m committed to connecting more people with what they eat and drink and increasing the opportunity at every level to choose healthy, seasonal, local produce.
Important events like British Food Fortnight and Bring Home the Harvest help by bringing us together in celebration of all that is great about our wonderful food and drink – from our gastro pubs and chippies, to our Sunday roast and farmers markets.
I’m delighted to be on the judging panel for my first Harvest Heros competition and I look forward to seeing some inspiring examples of communities celebrating our great British food.”
Chris Bush, UK’s Managing Director for Tesco which is sponsoring the Bring Home the Harvest campaign, said: “We are immensely proud to be a part of British Food Fortnight. Supporting UK farming and providing families with fantastic fresh food, is right at the heart of what we do. Harvest is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Britain’s fantastic food heritage, whilst encouraging our youngsters to have a better relationship with food."
Commentingon this year’s harvest celebrations, organiser Alexia Robinson said: “For a fledgling campaign, Bring Home the Harvest captured the nation’s imagination incredibly quickly last year and we already feel we have come a long way to restoring Harvest Festival’s place on the national calendar. There is still much to do, particularly with the younger generations who have not grown up with the tradition of celebrating the harvest. We are so delighted that Tesco has joined the campaign; their wholehearted support is a tremendous boost for our activities.”
She continues: “We are fortunate to live in a country with four distinct seasons: ‘the warmth to swell the grain, the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain’; a wonderfully varied topography with fells, dales, moors, plains, valleys, marsh, pasture and coast; and a vibrant farming community that despite relentless challenges continues to succeed in producing some of the highest quality food in the world. From our beef and sheep breeds which are the envy of the world; to our dairy farmers who now produce more types of cheese than France; to the abundance and rich variety of fruit and vegetables; to nature’s harvest which gives us mushrooms, haws, hips, blackberries and sweet chestnuts. There is so much to celebrate this British Food Fortnight.”
Highlights for this year include:
Celebrating our Nation's Harvest Heroes
- Love British Food and The Telegraph’s Bring Home the Harvest awards are back! Following the excellent entries last year which ranged from farm discovery trails, inner city interfaith celebrations and scarecrow competitions, we are looking for the communities who organise the most innovative, inclusive and imaginative harvest celebrations during British Food Fortnight. New for 2014 we are also throwing down the gauntlet to groups of young people to take part - the Junior and Youth category entrants are being encouraged this year to give the adults a run for their money!
- As well as being presented with an exquisite award handcrafted by the talented letter carver Tom Sargeant and made of oak from the Duchy Estate, there are some fabulous prizes up for grabs. The champions will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Michelin Starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons gardens, where a member of the expert team will reveal more about Raymond Blanc's new National Heritage Garden over a delicious breakfast. The winners of the Youth and Junior categories will receive an action-packed gardening workshop with Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins, plus cookery equipment from Tesco Home Range.
- The winners will be chosen by a panel of distinguished judges: The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Raymond Blanc; Adam Henson; Chris Collins and Chris Bush, Tesco Managing Director, UK.
Entries close at midday on the 8th October 2014 and the winner will be announced at the end of October. For full details of the competition, please click here.
Giving Thanks at Birmingham Cathedral
The National Harvest Service, an event first held at Westminster Abbey last year, and now firmly established on the National calendar, will take place at Birmingham Cathedral on 20th October.
- Young people from across the country will take centre stage at the celebration - over 400 children will present their harvest boxes, filled with home-grown and home-cooked goodies which they have prepared themselves. The children will be joined by a host of dignitaries and supporters, including the Bishop of Birmingham who will be giving a special address, and who will be welcomed to the Cathedral by a stunning harvest display, created by Tesco. A harvest poem written by Lauren Williams, Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2013-14, will be unveiled, plus at the end of the Service, the produce will be collected from the Cathedral by a horse drawn trolley and taken to the Birmingham Central Food Bank for distribution. The Cathedral will also be the first to welcome the new ‘Harvest Torch’ a symbolic sculpture which will pass from host city to host city, akin to the Olympic Torch.
- Harvest time will be brought to the masses during British Food Fortnight thanks to a new #HarvestFever social media campaign backed by Farmers Guardian.
- Love British Food and Farmers Guardian are calling everyone from farmers, school classes, allotmenteers and families to get involved by posing with British and home-grown produce and sharing snaps to put a modern spin on a traditional celebration. Show your support by posting your #HarvestFever selfie photos on Facebook and Twitter. Remember to tag @FarmersGuardian and @LoveBritishFood, use the hashtag #HarvestFever and then nominate some of your friends and colleagues to do the same!
British Food Fortnight - It's Happening Near You
- A new National Committee has been set up to encourage participation around the country. Activities include BritishFood Fortnight menus and promotions in shops, pubs and restaurants led by Tesco; food festivals in more than half the English counties led by Horsham, Emsworth and Stone; special menus and activities such as sausage making and bake-offs in care homes for the elderly organised by Hallmark Care Homes; school menus designed by Two Michelin Star Great British Menu judge Phil Howard in Cucina Restaurants; and seasonal hospital menus promoted by the Hospital Caterers Association. From large food service organisations and pubs such as Centreplate and Enterprise Inns to smaller groups like Whiting & Hammond and Casual Restaurants, retailers and caterers are putting British first for the Fortnight.
- Other special initiatives organised by members of the Bring Home the Harvest National Committee include:
- National Trust food events happening at properties across the country, including especially chosen British recipes in selected tearooms.
- The Church of England website www.aharvestnearyou.com, where visitors can locate their nearest Harvest Service.
Click here for downloadable ‘Bring Home the Harvest 2014’ posters, bunting and shelf-barkers. www.lovebritishfood.co.uk also has details of all the competitions, ideas for taking part and 14 things people can do - one for each day of British Food Fortnight - to join in the fun and bring the harvest alive in their homes and communities.
Who is behind British Food Fortnight?
The Bring Home the Harvest campaign is sponsored by Tesco Plc. British Food Fortnight is sponsored by ARAMARK and a large family of organisations led by Centreplate, Enterprise Inns, Hallmark Care Homes, Cucina Restaurants and Whiting and Hammond.
The Love British Food National Committee is made up of representatives from across the spectrum of food and farming industries. For further details about the Love British Food National Committee, please click here.
Notes to Editors:
For further press information and images please contact Catherine or Pippa on
T: 0203 239 7032
For Tesco media queries contact Rebecca Miller
T: 01992 644645
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