The company, which serves over 25 million meals a year to businesses including Barclays Bank, Virgin Atlantic and Selfridges, is the first contract catering company to commit to sourcing entirely UK fresh meat.
BaxterStorey has sourced its fresh beef, lamb, pork and pork and poultry from quality assured British farms for three years, but has only recently identified a UK supply chain for its bacon. An alliance with foodservice distributor Brakes means that the company can now ensure that the 6 million slices of bacon it uses each year also come from assured British farms.
BaxterStorey managing director John Bennett said that establishing a sustainable network of UK supply for all fresh meat was of paramount importance to the company, which is committed to supporting UK agriculture.
“Fantastic food needs the best ingredients. For us this means using produce which has been reared to the highest standards and is not forced to travel across international boundaries for rearing or processing,” he said.
“Our success is dependent upon a thriving domestic agricultural market and we are determined to help UK farmers prosper. Farmers must be supported by a food service industry which recognises the effort required to deliver the quality we seek and which rewards it fairly – something we are extremely proud to say we do.”
The announcement has been welcomed by UK food and farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick, who urged other catering companies to follow suit.
“BaxterStorey’s decision is good news for the British livestock industry and shows that it is possible for catering firms to source good value domestic produce. I congratulate them on their decision which will be good for their customers and for British farmers,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I urge other caterers to consider the benefits of using home-grown food and drink from the many local producers in the UK.”