19 October 2001

Its Host a Roast time

THE Countryside Alliance wants people to show their support for farmers by hosting a dinner party, barbeque, spit-roast or knees-up on Sat Oct 27.

The Host a Roast event plans to be "the biggest ever nationwide celebration of British food and local produce", according to the Alliance.

"The devastating impact that foot-and-mouth has had on the farming industry and the whole rural economy means it will be an excellent opportunity to boost those businesses that are suffering in its aftermath," says a spokesperson.

Host a Roast parties will be held in farmhouses, barns, shops, pubs and village halls across the nation, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Chris Tarrant and Sir Henry Cooper among those backing the idea.

The initiative, which will build on the past two years hugely-popular Roast and Toast Day spearheaded by farmers weekly, is encouraging the use of local food in a bid to shorten the chain between producers and consumers.

Richard Lowe of the Meat and Livestock Commission, which is also supporting the initiative, says: "The great British tradition of a roast meat dinner helps to define us as a nation – it is part of our heritage. A dinner party without British meat? Youve got to be joking!"

More details are available from the Countryside Alliance on 01672 519489.