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Hints & Tips for Consumers

Hints & Tips for Consumers

    Below is a selection of things you can do to buy and eat more healthily, more variedly and to discover the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain has to offer:

  • When you are shopping make a special effort to seek out British food. Pause for a moment when you select your food from the supermarket aisle to look at the label. Does it tell you where the food has come from? Does it provide a description of who produced it? And if it is imported is there a British equivalent in-season? Check for recognisable logos that help identify British produce – there is a list of logos on our Logos and Marks page. Remember, imported food is not always grown or reared to the same standards. Click here to watch a film about the origins of some imported pork.
  • Shop in local butchers, greengrocers, farm shops and markets. Local retailers tend to source locally more frequently and will be able to tell you a little about the person who produced the food you are purchasing. Country Markets  sell home produced food, direct from the producer.
  • Seek out food in season. Look for, for example, celeriac, pears and game in October and fresh peas, cherries and lamb in July. Visit our What's in Season  page or visit the East the Seasons  website. 
  • When eating out, even in well know restaurants chains, pause to see if they source British. Below are the sourcing policies for a few:
  • When next in the pub, team up a local beer with a local speciality. By choosing local foods and drinks when you are eating out, you can have an authentic dining experience that reflects the character of the area. Ask the staff to point out any local dishes on their menu.
  • Introduce the next generation to eating local. When planning a family meal out, things can be a bit more complicated, especially as children’s menus are often very restrictive. If there is nothing on the children’s menu, try asking for children-sized portions from the main menu.
  • Explore foods from different regions of Britain. Trying regional dished is a great way of experiencing our culture and heritage. Organisations like the National Trust make a special point of serving quality, regionally distinct produce from local producers. For use in the tea rooms and restaurants, it sources fruit and vegetables in season from sustainable local producers, while all the dairy produce, meat and eggs it uses are from the UK and, wherever possible, locally sourced. 
  • Cook a British meal for friends. Nothing beats the old favourites like Cottage Pie or Apple Crumble. Consider inviting friends round for a British food feast. Visit our recipe pages for inspiration!
  • Visit a food festival. Food festivals take place all year round throughout the country, but British Food Fortnight provides a great excuse to pop along to own near you. Visit our What's Happening pages to see what’s going on during British Food Fortnight.
  • Pick your own. What is better or healthier than being able to enjoy fresh fruit selected and picked by yourself! A list of fruit farms is available here, or you can rummage in the hedgerows for blackberries.
  • Grow your own. Eating food you have grown yourself - even if it is just a lettuce! - is immensely satisfying. Potatoes, herbs and carrots are easy to grow and you do not need much space to do so. The RHS provides a wealth of grow your own information.


      • Benugo prides itself on sourcing the majority of the ingredients for their sandwiches, salads and other take-away meals from within the UK. For example, all their ham is from Norfolk and their turkey from Warwickshire. They make a conscious effort to seek out small, quality producers and are strong advocates of seasonality and authenticity.
      • All Burger King burgers are made from 100% pure beef sourced from the UK and Ireland. The premium Angus Burgers are made from 100% Aberdeen Angus beef, certified by the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, and are also sourced from farmers in the UK and Ireland.Approximately 50% of the sausage and rib pork meat is supplied by the UK and Ireland.
      • Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s oversized sourdough buns are baked each morning by an artisan baker. Fresh English chicken is delivered each day. Gourmet Burger Kitchen use only 100% Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef which is sourced from fully traceable grass-reared animals. The premium organic burgers come from the world famous Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire.
      • Wherever McDonald's goes, it buys locally - which here means 60% from the UK and 40% from Ireland. It is proud to be one of the biggest purchasers of British beef as they source beef from more than 16,000 British and Irish farms and only uses whole cuts of forequarter and flank in its burgers. The beef for their hamburgers is 100% beef bought from farms accredited by nationally recognised farm assurance schemes. McDonald’s French Fries are all sourced from McCains of Scarborough. All pork used in their breakfast sausage and the bacon used within the breakfast menu and main menu, is sourced from British pigs on British farms. It is the only large-scale restaurant chain (and one of the few retailers) to use exclusively free range eggs on its menu. They use UK free-range eggs in their breakfast menu which are produced to the Lion Quality Mark code of practice. Eggs come from over 100 UK producers, 80% of which are independent farmers or small family farms. All the milk for Shakes and McFlurries is sourced from farms in the British Isles. Likewise, all bottled milk and milk used in its coffees and teas is semi-skimmed organic milk from the British Isles.
      • Pizza Hut source their ingredients from a number of British suppliers, particularly for their seasonal lines. For example, salad leaves in the summer are sourced from farms in Kent, cheese is produced in the UK using British milk and dough is UK-produced using a substantial amount of British wheat
      • Pret A Manger buys British and seasonal produce wherever possible e.g. English apple juice, English raspberries, wild strawberries for their compote, cherries, gooseberries and Wiltshire-cured ham. They source all British beef, turkey, pork, ham, free-range eggs and organic milk. English cheeses like cheddar are also British.