For a history of British food use this link
For an easy to read fact-packed guide to British food and farming please follow this link.
For details of how self-sufficient Britain is in each major food category click here.
For information on food production methods and types of livestock farming [click here].
For details about all the wonderful food locations in Britain, click here.
UK meat facts - Did you know…
- More that half of bacon sold in the UK comes from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Italy. 43% of other pork products come from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, where the same poorer conditions on pig farms are allowed.
- Farrowing crates are used in the UK for a few weeks after piglets are born, something which hugely reduces young mortality; most countries use significantly smaller sow pens and the animals are kept in them most of the year.
- One quarter of poultry sold in the UK comes from seven European countries and Brazil, which allow higher stocking of chickens and do not force farmers to use more comfortable dry bedding. Most UK farmers are limited to a maximum of 38kg per square metre of space - 15 birds at their fattest - compared with one third more than that in the EU. UK standards for access to drink and feed, and healthy bedding are also higher (NFU, 2010)
- 3% of beef is imported from Brazil, where practices including hot branding, castration and dehorning of cattle can be carried out without anaesthetic - all of which are banned in the UK. Products from those major importers accounted for about one quarter of all meat sold, by weight, in the UK that year. Total imports of pork, poultry, beef and veal made up one third of all meat sales, and it is likely that some of the remaining imports came from smaller trading countries also with lower standards.