With an annual food bill topping £95,000, Dudley Zoological Gardens have to make sure their pennies buy the very best of British produce – so, for the third year running, it’s backing British Food Fortnight.
The photo shows assistant curator Richard Brown handing out freshly-caught British fish to its three Patagonian sealions.
Fruits and vegetables are purchased from neighbouring counties, but the site’s freshest food – fish for this rare trio – arrives from Grimsby within hours of being caught.
“Each of the sealions gets through 12kg of sprats per day and if we use older fish they suffer upset tums, that’s why it has to be British and it has to be the best,” says DZG’s Jill Hitchman.
Alongside fish, DZG buys soft fruits and vegetables from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, plus cereals from Staffordshire and meat from a Midlands wholesaler.
“There are more than 1,500 animals at DZG representing nigh on 200 species, and that’s a lot of mouths to feed!
“Last year’s food bill came in at more than £1,800 per week, and we have to find those funds regardless of a poor season or low visitor figures, so we really do have to get the best value for money which is why we buy British.”
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