NFU 2010: Look beyond the retailers, growers told

Fresh produce and horticultural growers should look beyond the retail market, according to NFU horticulture board chairman Sarah Pettitt.

Speaking at a workshop during the NFU conference Ms Pettitt said there were big opportunities in the wholesale markets, public procurement and the food service industry that producers should tap into.

Spitalfields Market is full of European suppliers finding out how to meet British buyer demands and in all the times that I have visited I have only found a couple of British suppliers. There is a huge opportunity in this wholesale sector,” she said.

And on public procurement where more than £2bn is tendered out to European markets, where price is still the main focus, she said: “We should shine a light on the quality access points of our British produce.”

She also pointed to the food service sector as a great opportunity, citing Compass, the world’s biggest food service supplier which has recently launched its Truly British, Truly Local campaign.

As well as giving consumers peace of mind about the true origin of their food, the campaign aims to support British farmers, growers and producers through helping them to supply their produce to more local and UK client sites.

The Truly Local name applies only to food which uses locally produced ingredients, grown and harvested or born, bred and slaughtered within a 50-mile radius of the Compass client location where it is consumed.

British producers interested in becoming an approved Truly British, Truly Local Compass supplier can register here.

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