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The Best of Recent Years

The Best of Recent Years


Highlights - 2016

British Food Fortnight

The 15th British Food Fortnight, which took place 25th September - 9th October, saw schools, shops, pubs, restaurants, hospitals and even entires communities across the UK celebrating the diverse and delicious food we produce in the country. Chef Raymond Blanc, OBE headed up the campaign and here is some of the activity that happened:

Celebrations

Food and drink festivals were held all around the UK to celebrate British Food Fortnight. Our finalists include, Emsworth, a regular in the competition. The organised two jam-packed weeks of activities with restaurants, pubs and stores all getting involved. Cucina, organised British menus with some British classics throughout the two weeks at their schools. Hampshire Fare worked with Bentley Primary school on a ‘Food and Farming’ day. But the winners chosen by Raymond Blanc, OBE and the team of judges was Bath & North East Somerset, they organised a lively programme of celebrations, activities and competitions. Raymond Blanc said of Bath & North East Somerset, “This sounds like a fantastic few weeks – a great way to bring together local businesses and the community and showcase what is just on the doorstep. The Fresh-Range delivery service is a great idea and this encourages even more people to buy locally without having to even leave their house! This is a great example of having so many people involved in so many ways. Well done to you all.”

The Co-op

The Co-op is dedicated to British Farming and is delighted to be the official sponsor of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight 2016.

Co-op kick-started British Food Fortnight with an announcement that it would only be selling British meat in its stores. The new sourcing initiative makes the Co-op the only major UK food retailer to stock 100% own-brand fresh British beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon and turkey. It is already the only retailer to use British meat in all its chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches.

Cake for the Queen

Chiddingstone Primary School of Kent won the Cake for the Queen competition with the winning class delighted with the opportunity of visiting Buckingham Palace on 21st September.

The National Harvest Service

The Harvest Torch visited Lincolnshire Cathedral on 18th September at a service attended by farmers, producers, retailers and members of the public and Cathedral congregation. The initiative to reinvigorate the harvest is an initiative HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is keen to support.


Highlights - 2015

 


British Food Fortnight 2015 took place 21st September - 4th October.

  • Raymond Blanc, Oli Blanc and Chris Collins joined to make a short film explaining the importance of growing and cooking local food. 
  • The Telegraph Harvest Heroes Competition winners were Metal, an arts group who organised Harvest Peterborough.
  • Chefs from the top of the culinary world cooked a British Food Fortnight celebratory lunch for 70 of their contemporaries at Petersham Nurseries. 
  • Food and drink festivals were held from Guernsey to Ayrshire and communities came out in force to celebrate British Food Fortnight on the ground. Emsworth, the winners of the campaign’s 2014 Harvest Heroes competition set a high new benchmark with a jam-packed two weeks of activities - they even built a farmer’s field in the town square! 
  • South Downs Food Portal, organised a spectacular showcase bringing together 120 local food and drink producers. 
  • Food service organisation Centreplate held an educational day focusing on the journey of seafood from ocean to tableStone Food and Drink Festival hosted a new foodie family discovery trail. 
  • Members of The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) including those at Burnham, Dunblane, Kirkcudbright and Forest Row, took part with gusto. 
  • The Farmers Market at Melton Mowbray decorated stalls with bunting, and Monkton Elm Garden Centre held meet-the-producer tastings.

The most endearing thing for me is the support from the locals when we mention UK Farmers and supporting local! As I write I've been interrupted by customers buying pasties and it's only 7am on a Saturday morning. Needless to say we have covered our investment in three days.” Londis retailer, Atul Sohda.

  • chefs in 47 Cucina school restaurants challenged pupils to design a British menu and special British recipe cards were sent home for parents. 
  • pupils from the Friary School in Lichfield preparing a British themed three course meal for 70 friends at The George Hotel. 
  • Residents at Hallmark Care Homes across England and Wales enjoyed British chip shop days, welsh cheese and wine tasting, and British pie and pastry making. 
  •  Residents at the Abbeyfield Society’s Grace Muriel House in St Albans had help from nearby Marlborough Science Academy. They cleared scrubland to create a vegetable patch in which residents grew and harvested seasonal vegetables. 
  • Wicor Primary School in Portchester celebrated British Food Fortnight with a jam-packed day organised by local food group Hampshire Fare. 

 

For me this has to be one of the most engaging and exciting learning experiences I can ever remember. It was a privilege to be part of such a special day” Mark Wildman, Headteacher.

  • Holmwood House School in Essex held a highly successful produce show for the first time and pupils from Fulham Boys School in London cooked a meal for 70 homeless customers. 
  • The Harvest Torch took centre stage at the Kent County Harvest Thanksgiving Service at Canterbury Cathedral on the 4th October. Over 400 Harvest celebrations have taken place across the UK during the harvest period.  

Highlights - 2014

British Food Fortnight 2014 took place on the 20th September – 5th October.   

 

 

  • Phil Howard, the two Michelin Star owner and proprietor of The Square restaurant in Mayfair, teamed with school catering firm Cucina Restaurants to produce special British Food Fortnight menus in schools. 
  • The Bring Home the Harvest National Committee was formed and held its first meeting, in Fortnum and Mason.
  • The National Harvest Service was established as an annual celebration which will bring food and farming into the heart of a different UK city each year. In 2014 it was held in Birmingham Cathedral. The children’s food boxes were donated to Birmingham Foodbank after being admired by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins, Olivier Blanc and Chef Glynn Purnell. Further information about the 2014 National Harvest Service.
  • The Love British Food Harvest Torch was commissioned and processed at the Service for the first time. The torch was commissioned from Blacksmith Andrew Hall of ASH Ironworks and move around the UK with the National Harvest Service.
  • As part of the Church if England's ‘A Church Near You’ website, “A Harvest Near You” was launched to highlight all of the local Harvest celebrations in churches and with church communities. Over 200 events were uploaded onto the site.
  • In 2014 there was a special childrens category in the Search for Harvest Heroes competition, held in conjunction with the Telegraph. The category was won by Beech Hill School, Newcastle, for their harvest activities and they were presented with their award by Elizabeth Truss, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The general category was won by Emsworth Food Fortnight.
  • #HarvestFever was launched in association with the Farmers Guardian. The online initiative encouraged to take to social media with photos of themselves and their harvest bounty of produce. Photos were uploaded by Farmers, Allotmenteers, and those simply growing in their own gardens. Some examples can be found on our Flickr site

 

Highlights – 2013

British Food Fortnight 2013 took place on the 21st September - 6th October. A huge map of Britain was unveiled at St Pancras station, with edible features pointing travellers to our top food spots. Special meals were prepared in Hallmark care homes for the elderly and harvest themed events were held in National Trust properties. 

 

Bring Home the Harvest, the campaign to rekindle the tradition of celebrating the Harvest, was launched in 2013. The inaugural events included:

  • Service to Celebrate the Harvest, 16th October 2013, Westminster Abbey, where Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall joined children and personalities from the world of food and farming at the service, which was the first harvest festival to be held in the Abbey since 1966.530 children from schools, scout groups and girl guides won their places in the Abbey through a ‘Harvest Lottery for Schools'. The Nave of the Abbey was filled with harvest boxes of goodies they have grown and cooked themselves. The Service included a new harvest poem which was read by actor Damien Lewis, a special address from the Bishop of London and National Chairwoman of Young Farmers Clubs, Milly Wastie gave a reflection on farming. Further information about the Service to Celebrate the Harvest. 

 

  
  • Search for a Harvest Tune, in association with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, aimed to find a song poem or rap to become a new national harvest favourite. The winning song, ‘Harvest Time’, composed by Scottish Teacher Bryony Muir, provides a light-hearted account of farmer Bryony dreaming of harvest in Canada, Texas and France, but then concluding that she is thankful for the advantages of farming right where she is “ I think I’ll stay a farmer in this green and pleasant land” 

 

  • Bring Home the Harvest in your Community, was a competition held in conjunction with the Telegraph newspaper. It sought to find the community that organised the most innovative, inclusive and imaginative harvest celebration during British Food Fortnight. The judges included chef Raymond Blanc, Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, gardener Alan Titchmarsh and Philip Clark, Tesco CEO. The winner was Haslington Women’s Institute, who organised a series of innovative activities in their community. Further information about Bring Home the Harvest in your Community Competition 2013. 

Highlights – 2012 

British Food Fortnight 2012 took place from 27th July to 12th August. 

 

  • The biggest names in retail and food service came together to stage a patriotic foodie extravaganza during the Olympic games, which were held in the UK. Running in parallel with the Games, Love British Food 2012 brought a patriotic outburst to shop shelves and menus and Family Feasts were organised in communities across the country as part of the London 2012 Festival.  
  • Packs including a range of promotional and point-of-sale material to help people take part in the patriotic celebrations were distributed nationwide.
  • Schools Initiative - Cook for the Queen. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, British Food Fortnight invited all schools in the UK to create a special menu featuring recipes that celebrate the best of British to be served to The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Schools had to design a menu fit for The Queen that celebrated the food produced in their part of the country. The top four winning schools were then invited to Buckingham Palace in June to see their recipes brought to life and helped serve them at a reception attended by The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall.
  • Scottish Schools Brae high School, Pencaitloand Primary School, Cardross Primary School and Canongate Primary School visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse to show the Duchess their entries, prior to the competition final.

Further information about 2012 activities including Cook for the Queen.

Highlights - 2011

British Food Fortnight 2011 took place on the 17th September to 2nd October. 


  • 2011 was British Food Fortnight’s 10th Anniversary and over 22,000 people voted for Britain’s Favourite Food Spot. In the latter stages, it became a neck and neck two-horse race that went right to the wire between Cornwall and Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire was the eventual winner.
  • Sally Jackson, a pig farmer from North Lincolnshire, was been selected by Jilly Cooper as the ‘Face of British Food Fortnight 2011’. The organisers of British Food Fortnight teamed up with Farmers Weekly magazine to find the ‘face’ to front this year's national food promotion. The aim was to find someone who conveys the characteristics of which British food and farming are proud - wholesomeness, hard work, reliability, integrity, a sense of tradition, healthiness and a bright future.
  • The Tractor Ted Ultimate School Smoothie competition was judged by Michaele Strachan, who chose Friockheim and Kinnell Playgroup's fruit crumble smoothy as the winner. 
  • Schools Initiative - An Olympic Menu. Schools across the UK were challenged to design the perfect dish to help athletes go for gold in 2012. Entries flooded in from far and wide as schools used the Olympics to get creative. The winning school was Didcot Girls School,Oxfordshire. For their winning entry, the girls each selected a British athlete hoping to compete in 2012 and then designed a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu unique to each athlete and their sporting needs.

Highlights - 2010

British Food Fortnight 2010 took place on the 18th September – 3rd October. 

 

  • We teamed up with Farmers Weekly magazine to find the ‘face’ to front this year's national food promotion. Over a hundred entries were received from ruddy-cheeked, 60-year-old farmers with sideburns; 21-year-old fresh faced agricultural college students; farmer's wives; and even young children. James Potter, a 34 year old poultry farmer from North Yorkshire, was been selected by PR guru Max Clifford as the winner. He featured on tens of thousands of ‘Love British Food’ posters displayed in shops, pubs, restaurants and schools during the national food promotion
  • Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall and the BBC's Hairy Biker chefs, Dave Myers & Simon King, fired the starting gun for the Olympic year British Food Fortnight activities at a major launch attended by over 250 retailers and caterers at Westminster Cathedral in central London.
  • Schools Initiative – Cooking at Clarence House . For the first time, lunch in Clarence House was cooked by school children. Inspired by the Hairy Bikers' ‘Mums Know Best’ television programme, secondary schools were challenged to design and cook a meal based on recipes that would have been used in their school's part of the country by previous generations. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall invited the winning schools to Clarence House to cook their chosen dishes for lunch. The Hairy Biker chefs, Dave Myers & Simon King, joined the children to help them prepare their meals.

Highlights - 2009

British Food Fortnight 2009 took place on the 19th September – 4th October.

Schools Initiative – Tea at the Dorchester. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall had tea in The Dorchester Hotel with the winning pupils of British Food Fortnight’s school competition: the ‘Cook for Life’ competition challenged all schools in the UK to take part in the annual food celebration by incorporating cookery into their curriculum activities in imaginative ways. The challenge was for pupils to design and cook a menu using the minimum food miles. The winning school, Hawarden High School in Flintshire, produced a menu that cut food miles by 95%! 15 pupils aged between 14 and 18 spent the afternoon in the kitchens of the Dorchester Hotel with Executive Chef, Henry Brosi, learning about the quality and variety of British food and how to incorporate healthy cooking into their everyday lives. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joined the pupils in the kitchens to see them put the finishing touches to the dishes they were learning to make.

Highlights - 2008

British Food Fortnight 2008 took place on the 20th September – 5th October.

  • Organisations representing over 9,000 chefs have volunteered to go into schools during British Food Fortnight to teach children how to cook, signifying the biggest mass movement geared to teaching children about food. Schools could win class sets of Kenwood cooking equipment by taking part.
  • Morrisons, Budgens, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Somerfield all took part with British promotions during the Fortnight.
  • Five of the largest food service organisations (ARAMARK, Compass Group, Sodexho, Brakes and 3663), four major pub groups (Mitchells & Butler, Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns and Marston’s Pub Company), three of the main tourism organisations (National Trust, Youth Hostel Association and VisitBritain) and the leading catering association (British Hospitality & Restaurant Association) took part.

Highlights - 2007

British Food Fortnight 2007 took place on the 22nd September – 7th October.

  • Musgrave Budgens Londis won best consumer initiative in the Grocer Gold Awards 2007 for its sponsorship of British Food Fortnight. Events, which included local produce samplings, ‘Design a chef’s hat’ competitions and in-store promotions helped to boost footfall in Budgens and Londis stores by 25% and sales of products offered for tastings by 50%. Media coverage was estimated to have reached an audience of more than 300 million people. The judges agreed that the initiative was well executed and enhanced the messages of local community, provenance and total family engagement.