Boost for local produce after E coli scare

Demand for local food has surged, apparently on the back of the E coli outbreak across Europe, according to Kent-based local food sourcing company, Foodari Direct.

“We’ve seen an increase in food sales of over 30% across our web business and in our farm shop this week alone,” said managing director Jonathan Parker. “It appears the British consumer’s trust in imported food has taken a real knock and they are looking for local food instead.

“This is great news for local producers who’ve seen demand for their produce soar over the last couple of weeks, but one feels deeply sorry for their European counterparts.

“I believe consumers are really starting to think about food sourcing because they can’t afford not to. To begin with it seemed that consumers thought it was all a bit of a marketing tool used by companies to get one over on their competitors, but now they are starting to appreciate that it runs much deeper than this.

“Over the previous few years we’ve seen wild swings in commodity prices, adverse weather affecting food production across Canada, Australia and now China, bans on exports and imports and now an E coli outbreak, to name a few.”

Foodari buys produce direct from growers and producers, mainly in Kent. One arm of the business delivers fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, bakery produce and fish direct to restaurants, hotels, schools, pubs and hospitals across the south east while the other provides home deliveries. The company has also recently opened a farm shop.