Buying British – purse power

By Jane Milton

 24 Sep 2015     Comments

alt A few weeks ago I was interviewed by the BBC about the NFU Back British Farming campaign that was promoting the need for greater self-sufficiency within the UK.

In the media release NFU President Meurig Raymond told retailers, government and the British public that now is the time to Back British Farming : “If you want great British food tomorrow, then buy great British food today.”

I think consumers have become more aware of the need to buy more locally - be that UK produce in general or whether it's supporting small suppliers at the local farmers’ market.

Like the milk price row this summer, NFU campaigns really help to raise awareness. Many people would always have assumed cheese in the UK is made from British milk, but recent campaigning has demonstrated that it’s harder to know where the milk in cheese comes from.

Many households are on tight budgets and in those cases the country of origin may not be something that drives spending. UK welfare and manufacturing standards, wage costs and so on does not necessarily mean the UK-only produce is the cheapest.

If people want to support British farmers they need to ask the questions about where ingredients come from. The food industry wants to sell them food so will listen to consumer pressure and make changes. Free range eggs are a good example of this as consumer expectation for clearer labelling led to an EU directive.

Image courtesy: Canva/Backyard Productions


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