During the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more of us took to growing food in our own backyards, literally. Many believe there was also a renewed appreciation for our local communities, too, since many of us were unable to venture much further away for months on end.
This happened on the back of an already growing appreciation for local food, as we become more aware of where our food comes from, and determined to support British producers.
We know that importing food is bad for the planet, and many of us have been making efforts in recent years to eat more seasonally. In fact, one study found that 73% of the public often or always look for British food when shopping.
Why is it so important to buy and eat British?
Over the next couple of decades, the global population will continue to rise and there will be more pressure put on global food supply chains. There will be more competition for land and water, and farming will become increasingly difficult as we feel the impacts of global warming.
One way to combat this is to buy locally grown food – taking some of the pressure off global food systems and reducing harmful CO2 emissions.
There’s still a real need for a shift in how we buy food. In 2018, the UK produced just 53% of the food that it needed to feed the British population. As a result, we still largely rely on imports; in 2019, 45% of what we ate in the UK came from abroad.
What are the upsides to supporting British produce?
Not only does buying British food help support the national economy and local communities, it also means you can trace your food back to where it comes from. Your food is more likely to be seasonal, fresh, and more flavourful.
What’s being done to encourage people to support British producers?
A large part of making the UK’s food systems more self-sufficient is encouraging the public to buy locally.
In an effort to do this, the National Farmers Union launched the Back British Farming campaign to raise awareness among consumers
Supporting British farmers to scale up and produce food more sustainably is an important step to make sure they can meet rising demand from Brits wanting to buy locally.
In late 2020, the government launched plans to support English farmers to become more sustainable and ethical.
At TYME, we source our foods as locally as possible. We’re passionate about supporting British producers, especially those with a short supply chain - that’s why we source our delicious, fresh herbs just 3.5 miles from our kitchen in Shoreditch.