Bringing you the latest news on British products in the supermarkets and other items of interest about British food; here is our round-up for September.
- The National Pig Association is warning of a world bacon and pork shortage next year because pig-feed has become unaffordable following disastrous growing and harvesting weather. British shoppers are being urged to make a special effort to safeguard supplies of British bacon and pork by only buying packs carrying British farming's own Red Tractor logo.
- Milk processor Arla is to produce Anchor butter in the UK for the first time after the firm has moved production to its Westbury site from New Zealand. Arla's supply chain director, Lars Dalsgaard comments: “As well as being directly in line with our Closer to Nature ambition, it is a further example of Arla's commitment to the UK as we have created a home for more British cream and are adding value to it.” The move however has intensified the rivalry between Anchor and Country Life as Anchor plans to flag up the company's new British credentials, a strapline Country Life also carries: ‘Made exclusively with British milk’.
- EBLEX has launched a new campaign to tackle declining lamb sales. With the cost of lamb increasing by 34 per cent since 2007 it is increasingly regarded as a luxury item by customers. But Discover Lamb will reposition lamb as an affordable meat for families. Red Tractor assured diced and minced lamb will carry on pack promotions to win an electronic tablet if they vote for one of two celebrity dishes - Ben Shephard's pie or Edwina's lamb curry. EBLEX will also be promoting alternative cuts and a promotion on Quality Standard Mark lamb mince will feature recipe books.
- More than seven billion eggs have been produced by hens housed in battery cages banned by EU regulations and Ian Jones, Chairman of British Lion Eggs Processors, suggests this estimate is conservative. “The scale of eggs that have been produced from hens housed in non-compliant cages since the ban on 1st January 2012 is horrendous and unacceptable.” Some of the EU states that have been non-compliant include Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. British Lion eggs and egg products are produced in cages which are compliant with the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive.
- The latest YouGov survey has found 59 per cent of consumers preferred to buy meat and poultry produced in the UK over meat imported from abroad. The survey also found that 45 per cent of consumers think supermarkets should do more to sell locally sourced foods while 31 per cent would buy more locally sourced foods at supermarkets if they knew it was available.
- The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has launched #HonestDairyLabels, a consumer facing social media campaign to highlight the need for better country of origin labelling on dairy products, especially cheese. [Click Here] for more information.
- Production of British grown blueberries is predicted to increase by 29 per cent this year according to new forecasts from British Summer Fruits. Yields have already increased by 22 per cent over the past four years. The British season lasts between June and end of October.
- The BPEX Regional Roadshow and Product Excellence Event is giving butchers and farm shops the chance to gain recognition for their produce. From September 2012 to March 2013 the roadshow will be visiting regional venues across the UK and at each event, a team of industry judges will assess products and present gold, silver or bronze awards, which recipients can then use to promote their products. There will be ten categories, all focused on pork products, which include sausages, pork pies, bacon, pork burgers, black pudding and ready meals.
- Fuller's has added a new brew to its Past Masters portfolio of historic ales. Past Masters Old Burton Extra is available in Sainsbury's and is 7.3 per cent abv ale that has been recreated from a 1930s recipe.
- Sainsbury's has launched English-grown kiwiberries, a first for any retailer in the UK. The kiwiberries are grown in Hertfordshire and are no larger than a grape. They are said to be a sweeter alternative to kiwifruit while being more convenient to eat.
- The wettest summer for a hundred years has wiped out a fifth of Britain's apple crop. British Apples and Pears said the rain kept bees in their hives which meant fewer trees were pollinated and apples were generally smaller than usual.
- Dairy Crest has launched 40 sustainability pledges as part of its corporate social responsibility agenda, including a pledge to source British milk and to “always pay diary farmers a fair, market-related price.”
- Suppliers are setting their sights on booming consumer interest in wild game. Pieminister is launching a new Deer Stalker pie, which claims to be the first venison pie in mainstream retail and will be exclusive to Waitrose. David Oliver Fine Foods is also rolling out game soups which follow the launch of their premium ready meals which are available in Waitrose stores.
- The number of bakeries operating on the UK high street has grown by 17 per cent. Thanks to TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off and The Fabulous Baking Brothers the number of home baking shops has risen by 50 per cent.
- Isle of Wight dairy farmers have started an ‘I love Isle of Wight Milk’ campaign to have more milk processed and sold on the island. They claim 80 per cent of the island's milk is transported to the mainland, only for processed milk to be brought back to be sold in supermarkets. They say 20m litres of milk a year is produced on the Isle of Wight while the island consumes 30m litres. Several supermarkets have responded, saying they would be interested in discussing the possibilities with farmers.
Seasonal foods at their best to look out for in the supermarkets this month:
Vegetables: artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, celery, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces and salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, runner beans, shallots, spinach, spring onions, swede, sweetcorn, turnips and watercress.
Fruit: apples, bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, damsons, pears, plums, raspberries, redcurrants and tomatoes.
Herbs: basil,chestnuts, chillies, chives, cob nuts, coriander, mint, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), oregano, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, thyme and wild nettles.
Meat: beef, chicken, duck, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, lamb, mallard, partridge, pheasant, pork, rabbit, turkey, venison and wood pigeon.
Fish: brill, clams, cockles, cod, coley, crab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, john dory, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, oysters, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, salmon, sardines, scallops, sea bass, sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, skate, squid, turbot, whelks and winkles.
See at the touch of a button all the British produce currently available in the supermarkets - [search Want to Buy British by product or by supermarket].