With the cost of meat likely to rise due to increased animal feed costs, the organisers of British Food Fortnight, which takes place 22 September to 7 October, give consumers seven reasons to buy British meat:
1. British meat is produced to some of the highest welfare standards in the world; no growth-promoting hormones are allowed and any antibiotics are administered only under veterinary direction.
2. Britain’s cattle passport system means that each animal can be uniquely traced to its dam and place of birth.
3. Britain’s pig farmers operate by UK law to standards of welfare that are not only higher than those outside the EU but are higher than those of nearly every other EU member state; so think twice before buying that packet of pork, bacon or ham with the words ‘product of the EU’. There is a 70% chance that it comes from a farming system that would be illegal in Britain.
4. Britain’s beef and sheep industries are the envy of the world; breeding livestock and genetics from our native breeds are much sought after by farmers in other countries. Protect our great native livestock industry by buying the real thing, not some imported substitute.
5. British meat travels less far from farm to shop so regardless of how carbon footprints are calculated it self-evidently has a lower carbon footprint.
6. Don’t be misled by supermarket packaging that can make British and imported meat look similar. Look for the origin information and evidence of British flags and assurance marks.
7. Choosing British meat means supporting British livestock farmers whose husbandry helps to keep the British countryside the way we want it to look; no cows – no countryside!
Alexia Robinson, organiser of British Food Fortnight, says: “British meat is the best in the world, but if we don’t make an active effort to buy it when we are shopping or eating out it quite simply will not be available in 50 years time because most of our livestock farmers will have gone out of business.”
For further advice on buying British and on how to take part in British Food Fortnight, see www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk.