Celebrity chef gets behind drive for British farming

TV chef Tom Kerridge has thrown his weight behind the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) campaign to back British farming and food.

Ahead of the general election, the NFU has launched the ‘Great British Food Gets my Vote’ online campaign to ensure that domestic food and farming is part of the political debate.

Michelin-starred Kerridge wants the public to get behind the campaign and show their support. He said: “British food is incredibly important, to me personally, but also to me on a customer level. I want to be able to trace back my food to where it has come from; provenance for me is hugely important.

“For me British food has that little bit of heart and soul. The support we should give to the farmers on this small island of ours is very important. Not only is it about knowing where your food comes from, which I think leads to better quality and high standards, it will also ensure jobs.”

The NFU recently published a report on the country’s self-sufficiency, which it called “alarming”. It revealed a fall in self-sufficiency over the past 30 years to 60%, and suggested that if this continued, only half of the nation’s food would be produced on British farms in the next 25 years.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “We know that food and farming is important to many people. Eighty-five per cent have told us they think supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms and 77% think government should focus more on creating policies that help UK farmers to increase the amount of food Britain produces.

“Supporting British food and farming now will safeguard the security and availability of British food for the future. This means supporting a sector which has delivered jobs and growth during the recession and helped to create the fantastic landscapes that make up three quarters of our country.

“We are delighted that Tom has pledged his support and we would urge consumers to do the same. They can cast their vote for British food online at Vote British Food and buy British food wherever and whenever they can. And they can ask their local MP how will they back British farming?”

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