What we have achieved
Love British Food
Love British Food is the leading national promotion of British food. It is unique in that, in a world where the promotion of British is governed by EU rules that prohibit the main farming organisations and the government from giving a clear ‘buy British’ to the domestic consumer, we are the only organisation that can advocate a strong ‘Buy British Food’ message. And we are the only organisation that can encourage retailers and the caterers responsible for sourcing food in our schools, hospitals and food outlets to make British food their preferred supplier of choice.
British Food Fortnight
British Food Fortnight is the national celebration of British food. It has taken place every year since it was founded in 2002 in response to the foot and mouth crisis that bought farming to its knees. It’s aim then, as it is now, is to use the fun of a national celebration to encourage people to actively seek out British food when they are shopping and eating out. If they enjoy doing so during British Food Fortnight then hopefully they will make a conscious effort to buy British year-round.
The event is one of the most established food campaigns on the national calendar and has been used to drive sales and consumer awareness in major retailers and food service organisations (Tesco, Aramark, SPAR, Budgens, Londis, Brakes, Compass and Sodexo to name a few). It has been acclaimed as ‘one of the highest profile awareness weeks’ by Marketing magazine.
The annual media campaign that supports British Food Fortnight has sustained an audience reach of 300 million+ every year since 2006: national and regional consumer press, national and regional broadcast TV and radio, and social media including front page lead picture coverage in national press.
Establishments Taking Part
More than 70 organisations have taken part in British Food Fortnight; and over a thousand independent shops, many of the major supermarkets, nine of the largest food service organisations and eight major pub groups have run promotions. St Paul’s Cathedral, St Pancras train station, Harrods, Wembley Stadium, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace are just a few of the famous establishments that have taken part. Even Dudley Zoo has taken part! And British Food Fortnight has also been a story line on The Archers.
‘Putting the Ooo back into food’ is our educational programme teaching children about food. Endorsed by the Department for Education and the Department of Health, and with long-term support from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, the programme has provided educational materials for 30,000 schools and provides a web-portal for teachers described as ‘a wonderful resource’ by the Times Educational Supplement. The programme runs high profile national competitions for schools, most memorably Cook for The Queen in Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee.
Our guides to teaching children about food within the national curriculum and how to incorporate cooking into curriculum activities (see opposite, right) are the first resources of this kind to be published and distributed to all schools in the UK.
We founded the largest volunteer movement educating people about food with many chef associations and food service organisations signing up to send their chefs into schools during British Food Fortnight to teach children about food.
As a result of our activities, British Food Fortnight is now an established date on the school calendar. Hundreds of schools have taken part over the years. You can read about many of the wonderful ways they have done so here.
Working with the Industry
We are the first organisation to run targeted promotions of British food in shops, pubs and restaurants resulting in increased sales of British food in hundreds of retail and catering outlets.
In the retail sector, the brand is proven to deliver sales increases in the major supermarkets and small independents. For example, Love British Food promotions in Tesco doubled sales in real terms and sold out most days. In the independent sector the results have been astonishing with some small retailers reporting sales increases of £1,000 a week.
In the food service sector, sales increases of 65%+ have been reported with sales of some product lines promoted through the Love British Food brand increasing by 1,000%.
In the public sector, British Food Fortnight promotions have increased the uptake of school meals by 20 - 50% and have been embraced by many county-wide school catering services. "The number of children eating school meals in Shropshire Primary Schools increased by 20% as a result of the British Food Fortnight menu we ran." Bill Campbell, Operations Manager, Shropshire School Meal Service.
We work with the Hospital Caterers Association and have made inroads into achieving greater sourcing of British food in hospitals, achieving measureable success in Nottingham City Hospital and the Royal Brompton Hospital. "British Food Fortnight was a big success in the hospital restaurant, customers asked for dishes to be kept on the menu. Our fresh fruit and veg supplier did a beautiful display of produce with a competition to win a basket of fruit." Caroline Gadsdon, Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust
Our work in the Care Home sector has brought British food menus and memorable food activities to the elderly at Abbeyfields, RMBI Care Homes and Hallmark Care Homes. “We like to involve residents in food issues, whether it’s inviting them to decide on menus or getting them involved in our internal competitions to improve food standards. British Food Fortnight has given residents another opportunity to join in an activity involving food.” Roy Garland, Catering Manager, Anchor Homes.
We work with the University Caterers Association to make food education a core part of Fresher’s Week activities. “Our involvement has been a great success” Debbie King, Catering Manager for Grand Parade, University of Brighton who made a special effort to include British dishes on the campus menu.
We have worked with the Youth Hostel Association and the National Trust to make British food central to visitor attractions. “In the three years since we first made a commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the spend on food and drink per stay with YHA grew by over 50%, and the margins grew by 4% too.” Colin Rich, Food & Beverage Manager, Youth Hostel Association.
We work with the National Association of British Market Authorities to increase both the stocking and promotion of British Food by traders and it’s purchase by consumers at markets across the land.
Love British Food 2012
We developed the Love British Food 2012 brand specifically for the Olympic year to encourage retailers and caterers to run British food promotions and capitalise on the patriotic fervour of the London Olympics. 11 of the biggest food service organisations used it to drive sales promotions during the Games and Tesco and SPAR UK used it in all their stores.
Community and Competitions
We have run numerous fun competitions to engage the consumer including the Face of British Food Fortnight; Britain’s Favourite Food Spot; Britain’s Long Lost Food, and in 2016, Cake for The Queen.
We have established an annual competition with The Telegraph as media partner to find the most imaginative and inclusive community celebration of British food. Every year the competition involves hundreds of communities and hundreds of thousands of people in celebrating the food from their local area.
We have instigated a campaign to reinvigorate the celebration of Harvest Festival and ensure its continued presence on the national calendar. In 2013 we held established the National Harvest Service at Westminster Abbey, the first Harvest service to be held there in nearly half a century. The service was attended by 800 children who filled the Abbey with produce they had grown themselves. The National Harvest Service is now moving around the country with a Harvest Torch symbolising its revival. Watch a short film of the service in Westminster Abbey and see photos of the service in Birmingham.