The British prime minister Tony Blair and the secretary of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) David Miliband met at the premier’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London yesterday to launch the ‘Just Ask’ campaign on behalf of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
The campaign will seek to encourage diners at catering establishments to find out where the food on their plates comes from. ‘Whether you are eating in a roadside café or at a Michelin star restaurant,’ said Mr Miliband, ‘I think there is something satisfying about knowing where the food on your plate comes from and the sense of connection that comes from eating local food.’
Also speaking at the meeting, CLA president David Fursdon commented that, ‘Just Asking where the food on your plate comes from is the first step in raising awareness of British food. Too often a chef, waiter or proprietor won’t know. We intend to change that and, in the process, use consumer pressure to help ensure that we end up with more British food on our plates, increasing the amount of local suppliers and producers in the UK food chain. British food ensures British farms and local producers have a future and can continue to provide the countryside we all enjoy’.
The campaign will also receive the support of Brakes, the leading food supplier to the UK catering industry. ‘Brakes is pleased to support the “Just Ask” campaign,’ explained Frank McKay, the company’s chief executive. ‘As the UK’s leading supplier to caterers and a major purchaser from British producers, we are committed to offering our customers products that are not only of the highest quality, but have the integrity and traceability behind them that enables caterers and, in turn, consumers to make an informed choice.’
Farmers’ Weekly Interactive