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06
Aug

Hospital caterers to make British supplier of choice for British Food Fortnight


The 2019 British Food Fortnight campaign (September 21 – October 6) will focus on catering in the public sector with the aim of encouraging more establishments to make British the first supplier of choice. The campaign would love to hear from hospitals that are supporting the buy British message – please get in touch with them via social media – details at the end).

 

British Food Fortnight, now in its 18th year and organised by Love British Food, is the national food promotion which every Autumn invites communities and organisations across the country to celebrate the diverse and delicious, high quality food produced in this country.  

 

The foodservice sector has been at the heart of the promotion since its early years with many of the leading foodservice organisations taking part resulting in hundreds of chefs in the private and public sectors running special Love British Food menus every year. It is now a proven commercial promotion delivering affordable quality menus that are a hit with the customer.  

 

The decision to focus the 2019 campaign on catering in the public sector follows the recognition of Alexia Robinson, Founder of Love British Food, in the 2018 listing of Top 20 ‘most influential’ people in Public Sector catering. This is a tremendous accolade and platform for further work in the sector at a time when food supply chains and prices are at their most uncertain. 

 

Andy Jones, from the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) says: “Last year’s initiative celebrating 70 years of British Food in the NHS proved that British Food Fortnight is a key platform to showcase seasonal, local ingredients. We know already that many hospitals try to buy and serve British food. Of the £205m spent by the NHS on food for patients approx. 75% is spent on British. So, we want to ensure these hospitals continue this and not switch to cheaper imports plus we want to see more hospitals making the commitment to buy British.” 

 

Chris Neale, Head of Catering at Nottingham University Hospital is saving £500k a year by procuring approx. 65% of its food locally, taking patients’ meal order three hours before the next meal service and distributing to its 90 wards where it is reheated using Burlodge ovens. The hospital believes it is important that patients of NUH know the provenance of the ingredients used in their meals and promotes this at every opportunity.

 

Sodexo is also a partner of Love British Food. David Mulcahy says: “We have partnered with Love British Food for a number of years and each year the food service activity gets bigger and better. As a company we reach a number of public sectors including hospitals so the focus for us is ideal. Being able to run British promotions and showcase key British ingredients and dishes gives us a unique selling point. Our customers are keen to buy British but at the right price.”  

 

The HCA is once again supporting Love British Food – but hospital caterers do not need to be a member of the HCA to join the campaign. The NHS remains one of the British farming communities’ biggest customers.  Many hospitals have strong British and local supply chains and the aim is to showcase these and encourage others to follow their lead during British Food Fortnight.

 

Sodexo will be ramping up its involvement and running branding across all its hospital sites. Harrison Catering and Brakes are also taking part building on their previous success with the campaign. The Craft Guild of Chefs will be supporting the campaign and highlighting activities to all its members.

 

Love British Food Founder, Alexia Robinson, says: “We are facing uncertain times with Brexit and there is a real need for a robust supply of quality food at stable, affordable prices.  We want to encourage the food service sector to make British food the first supplier of choice throughout the year. British Food Fortnight is a proven promotion in foodservice and we are encouraging caterers across the private and public sectors to take part.”  

 

Resources for caterers are available for download from www.lovebritishfood.co.uk There is advice not just for the Fortnight but on everything caterers need to make British food a success: advice on sourcing, supplier contacts, case studies and sample regionalised menus. Promotional materials including bunting, posters and shelf barkers can also be downloaded on the website.

 

Facebook: @LoveBritishFood

Twitter: @LoveBritishFood

Instagram: @love_british_food

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