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 May.
- The Queen has confirmed that the government will be introducing legislation for a Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA). In her speech to both Houses of Parliament, The Queen states the adjudicator would ensure supermarkets deal fairly and lawfully with suppliers.
- Lidl has revamped its entire fresh meat and poultry range in a bid to push its growing British credentials. Under the new strapline ‘Like Meat, Love Lidl’, Lidl unveiled new Birchwood and Strathvale branded meat and poultry packs, carrying a watermark of the Union Jack to emphasis provenance. The revamp coincides with a recent survey finding more than 80 per cent of Lidl meat carries the red tractor logo. This compares to 74 per cent for Morrisons, 67 per cent for Asda, 51 per cent for Tesco and just 18 per cent for Saisnbury's.
- David Cameron is encouraging people to buy ‘quality’ British food to help the farming industry. The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of agriculture to the economy stating “if we want a healthy farming industry, what we’ve got to recognise is that it really depends on us as consumers going into shops and supermarkets wanting to buy quality British products.”
- The Prince of Wales has given his support to a campaign to save the future of fish and chips as he warns of the dire consequences of over-fishing. The Prince commented “the simple fact is that fish and chip shops rely on there being plenty more fish in the sea, and that is only going to be the case if we take care of fish stocks now and plan for them to be there long into the future. If their businesses are to remain viable in the long term, fisheries management, accompanied by sound science, really matters to them too”.
- The recent weather has caused havoc for asparagus growers. The warm start to the year, followed by a prolonged dry spell and then unseasonably cold wet weather has dented English asparagus volumes with prices running at a 15 year high.
- Hovis has launched the British Farmers Loaf, which is decked out with Union Jack bunting and carries the name and image of farmers that supply the brand's 100 per cent British wheat.
- The Diamond Jubilee continues to inspire a number of new products and promotions to get the public geared up for the patriotic celebrations!
- The Co-op has launched 2 limited edition British beers - the Jubilation, a 4 per cent abv. pale golden coloured ale, and the 4.5 per cent abv. Salutation, a classic British bitter. The own-label beers are brewed by hand at the Freeminer Brewery in Gloucestershire.
- Tyrrells has bought together three coloured potato varieties to create packs of red, white and blue. The bags of salted crisps are made with potato varieties Highland Burgundy Red, White Lady Claire and Salad Blue.
- Kingsmill bread is to become Queensmill for 2 weeks from 21 May for the Diamond Jubilee.
- Rachel's yoghurt is releasing a British-themed summer limited edition strawberries and cream variant.
- Hawkshead Relish Company has launched a limited edition Jubilee Jam made from Lyth Valley damsons and English Rose Liqueur
- The Diamond Jubilee is said to be creating an increased demand in heritage foods. Farm Shop Calcott Hall in Essex estimates there has been a 20 per cent increase in requests for old fashioned choices of meat such as heart, ox cheek, sweetbreads tripe and other offal.
- Highland Game has launched a new range of easy-to-cook venison products exclusively in Tescos. The ‘Chef's Selection’ has been developed by chefs Maxine Clark and Willie Pike MBE and includes grill steaks, burgers, sausages and meatballs.
- Clarence Court is expanding its speciality eggs with the launch of guinea fowl eggs. Clarence Court says that guinea fowl eggs have a richer yolk and purer white than hen eggs and could be used in baking or salads.
- Gammon joints are experiencing a revival thanks to Delia Smith. Sales were up 294 per cent last year after she featured a recipe of blackened gammon with salted caramel crackling on a television advert. Tough economic times are also a factor in the resurgence of gammon as it is often cheaper per kilo than other traditional roasting meats like beef or lamb.
- A Budgens store has teamed up with two local primary schools to start growing ‘Food from the Pavement’. Andrew Thornton's Budgens in London will work with pupils to grow herbs and strawberries which they will then sell instore.
- The berry category has the potential to continue its recent strong growth. UK soft fruit sales have tripled in the last 12 years with the berry category as a whole growing at 12 per cent in the past year. Strawberries were up 10 per cent, raspberries up 18 per cent, blueberries up 13 per cent and blackberries up 7 per cent!
- British exotic fruit is being trialled to grow in England! Fresh produce company Sofruileg is in talks with UK fruit growers to establish a local supply of kiwiberries. Sofruileg is primarily looking at Kent to grow the kiwi and aims to start planting crops next spring. Moreover, Total Produce has planted trial volumes of both white and yellow flesh peaches this month in north Kent and hopes to have the first crop harvested in 2014.
- Produced in Kent is inviting primary school children to design an Olympic-themed artwork made from Kentish fruit and vegetables. Children have until 11 June to submit their work.
Seasonal foods at their best to look out for in the supermarkets this month:
Vegetables: asparagus, aubergine, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, jersey royal new potatoes, kohlrabi, lettuces and salad leaves, new potatoes, onions, peas, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rhubarb, rocket, samphire, spinach, spring onions and watercress.
Fruit: cherries, elderflowers, raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes.
Herbs: basil,chervil,chives, coriander, dill, elderflowers, mint, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), nasturtium, oregano, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sage, sorrel and wild nettles.
Meat: beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, and wood pigeon.
Fish: cockles, cod, coley, crab, herring, john dory, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, plaice, pollack, prawns, salmon, sardines, sea trout, shrimp, whelks and whitebait.
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].