15 September 2000

Be upstanding for another day celebrating delights of our meat

Roast and Toast Day was an

idea conceived by

farmers weekly last autumn

in response to the beef crisis.

Our call for people everywhere

to enjoy a roast meal and

toast the future of farming

struck a chord in the nations

hearts – and stomachs.

So lets do it again

IT WILL be a countrywide celebration of our finest meats. Lets sit down with our family, friends and colleagues and enjoy a delicious dish of roast beef, pork or lamb on Sunday October 29.

We want people – in villages and towns across Britain – to come together and enjoy a roast. Itll help raise the profile of farmings plight among the general public and, at the same time, help the industry eat its way out of the problems which still beset it.

The legacy of the BSE crisis lives on for beef producers. Sheep farmers have seen their own problems in recent years and, more recently, the pig industry has been hit by the tragic outbreak of Classical Swine Fever.

Lets try and make it a day to forget these problems. What better way to start the winter, after all, than with this most traditional of meals. A real winter warmer.

Our inaugural Roast and Toast Day last year received industry-wide backing, with the NFU giving it their full support. NFU president Ben Gill showed commitment above and beyond the call of duty: he had two roasts – lunch and dinner.

This year, were widening

IT WILL be a countrywide celebration of our finest meats. Lets sit down with our family, friends and colleagues and enjoy a delicious dish of roast beef, pork or lamb on Sunday October 29.

We want people – in villages and towns across Britain – to come together and enjoy a roast. Itll help raise the profile of farmings plight among the general public and, at the same time, help the industry eat its way out of the problems which still beset it.

The legacy of the BSE crisis lives on for beef producers. Sheep farmers have seen their own problems in recent years and, more recently, the pig industry has been hit by the tragic outbreak of Classical Swine Fever.

Lets try and make it a day to forget these problems. What better way to start the winter, after all, than with this most traditional of meals. A real winter warmer.

Our inaugural Roast and Toast Day last year received industry-wide backing, with the NFU giving it their full support. NFU president Ben Gill showed commitment above and beyond the call of duty: he had two roasts – lunch and dinner.

This year, were widening the scope from a beef day to embrace all our lovely meats. This year, well also be targeting politicians, lest they ever forget how good our food is. Well be badgering political leaders and other high-profile figures calling on them to join in the celebrations.

Top chef Clarissa Dickson Wright has also backed the initiative. "Im extremely fond of roast beef, pork and lamb," says the star whos new tv series about the countryside, Clarissa and the Countryman, starts on BBC2 next month.

"Theres something terribly succulent and opulent about a roast. It gives me an enormous sense of well-being. Theres something about a wing rib of beef that makes me think all is well in the world," adds Clarissa.

&#42 Well do our bit

And dont worry, we here at farmers weekly will again be proud to do our bit. Last year, Farmlife smuggled a joint of beef across the Channel and ate it under the noses of the locals in Dunkirk. We did our utmost to dispel any doubts they had about the quality of our beef.

Well be doing something special again this autumn to raise the profile of Roast and Toast Day – so keep an eye on Farmlife for further details.

We hope, as well, youll end your meal by toasting the future of British farming. For too long, now, we have been in the jaws of a recession. Better times are ahead. Thats what the pundits say – and we think theyre right.

So uncork a bottle of locally-produced wine, cider or beer and raise a glass to "British Farming".

So lets use national Roast and Toast Day on October 29 as an opportunity to take pride in what we do.

So turn your clocks back and your oven on. And get roasting.

Lets give the critics a roasting

Roast and Toast Day is getting a big thumbs-up, not just from families and firms – but from pubs and restaurants nationwide. Heres the reaction of just three:

Paul Hickman, landlord, The White Horse public house, Norfolk. "Were certainly taking part. My customers and I are quite convinced of the merits of British beef. I eat it by the bucketful. I was taught how to cook roasts by my mother – and Ive never looked back."

Sebastian Hughes, proprietor, Holne Chase hotel and restaurant, Devon. "Were pleased to support the initiative. Mind you, we have locally-sourced beef on the menu here every day. Nothing French goes through this hotel."

Jenny Dowell, landlady, Happy Return pub and restaurant, Chard, Somerset.

"Roast and Toast is a great idea. People still love a roast as much as ever. Everyones out at work now so a lot of people choose to eat out on a Sunday. Its nice having someone else cook it for them! We always have a roast at the weekend – and make a special effort to have one during the week, too, when we have a bit more time."

* If youre going to take part in the celebrations then wed love to hear what youll be doing. Write to us at Roast and Toast, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey. SM2 5AS or e-mail tim.relf@rbi.co.uk