British Food Fortnight

Here at TAP we really enjoy looking after and celebrating our clients and their customers, who are producing great food all over the world.

This British Food Fortnight is no different.

On a recent food shop for the family, our team member, Jenni Green, managed to pick up a basket full of goodies that flew the flag for British produce, and in so doing has put together some top tips on what to look for when shopping with food provenance in mind.

As a farmer’s daughter, it has always been important for me to buy British and local wherever I can – I am fortunate that I have a fantastic bakery and butchers’ shop, just a few minutes from my house. But when it comes to fruit and veg, store cupboard essentials and other household items, how easy is it to shop British or find produce with provenance?

What to look for when buying British:

Here in the UK there are several assurance schemes to help you identify that your food is British. The most popular being the Red Tractor brand.

British produce

Red Tractor:

Red tractor is a farm assurance scheme which regulates and promotes food quality in the UK. If your product has the Red Tractor logo on it you can be sure that it’s British, and produced to high standards. What’s more you can even trace the product’s provenance from field to fork. Red Tractor assured farmers undergo regular rigorous and independent assessments, to guarantee that everything they do on farm is performed to consistently high standards to ensure you, the consumer get the best food, produced to high standards.

RSPCA Assured:

RSPCA Assured food provides a guarantee that the animals or animal products have been produced to the RSPCA welfare standards as identified by the RSPCA. Being British produce is not actually a criteria for this scheme (so do be aware that some produce under this mark may be from other countries, but they would still be up to the same standards as required by the scheme).

British apple label showing grower's details

Quality beef and lamb mark

High levels of independent inspection standards make this a great mark to look out for when shopping for your household meat.

Produce of/ produced in labels

If an item in your shopping basket is labelled as “produce of” – that means the produce has come from that country. But be warned – if the product says “produced in” or “processed in” that is no guarantee that the provenance of the product is the same. This sort of labelling is not uncommon in processed meats so always look at the small print – usually on the reverse of the pack.

The Union Jack:

Just like the stars and stripes can be a decoration, so can the Union Jack. So, while the Union Jack is often used to indicate a product is British, always check the small print as sometimes this can be misleading and purely a decorative addition to encourage you to make a purchase!

Some labelling can be misleading - always read the small print

Buying with provenance

I’m sure you all know that champagne – can only be called champagne, if it’s made in the Champagne region of France. But did you know this is also true of a number of British food items too – 65 to be precise!

From Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, to Herefordshire Cider and Single Gloucester cheese, there are an array of British products which benefit from extra protection – either because they have to be fully produced and processed in a given area, using traditional methods (Protected Designation of Origin – PDO) or they should be produced, processed or prepared in a given area (Protected Geographical Indication).

This protection, which is provided under EU law means that the product’s authenticity and origin can be guaranteed – and who doesn’t love a delicious Jersey Royal potato?

Equally the great thing about this scheme is that it extends to our European friends, and this protection, as a customer, means when you are purchasing such iconic foods as Prosciutto di Parma, or Parmigiano Reggiano you really are getting the real thing.

These are just some examples of how you can shop for provenance – but if in doubt, never be afraid to ask!

Jenni Green - 04/10/18

"Partnering with TAP has helped our team tackle the challenges of the European marketplace and its diversity of geographies and languages. TAP’s expertise, connections and work has strengthened our brand, content and social media efforts. We appreciate its responsive collaborative approach, and its ability to work efficiently within short timelines, limited budgets and across time zones and languages. Plus it connected quickly with our team and are a pleasure to work with."

Colleen Shaw - Global Communications Leader, Nuseed

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Paul Guinane – Director, Soft Egg

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Alyna Trotman - Formerly In-flight Director,

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Geoff Hall - Commercial Lead NW Europe, Monsanto

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Martyn Westbury - International Travel Retail Manager, MARS

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Joe Harvey – Formerly Crew Communications Manager, Aer Lingus

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Lupita Ayala - Deputy Director, Mexico Tourism Board

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Steve Smith - Cisco Systems, Key Accounts Manager

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Louise Smith – Director, Locally Bourn

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Geoff Hutley - Former Managing Director, The Zero Group

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Lucy Kane - Production & Marketing Coordinator, Monsanto

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Julian Gairdner - Co-chairman Oxford Farming Conference 2014