The leading promotional body for British produce has announced that it will become a Social Enterprise in order to further its reach and to grow its work.
Tim Radcliffe, Net Zero Food Programme Manager for NHS England, and Derek Wright, Catering Services Manager at Blackpool Catering Services will join Love British Food founder Alexia Robinson as Directors. As a social enterprise, Love British Food will be dedicated to making high quality, nutritious British food available to all sectors of society.
Its key objectives will remain the same, through the channels that have proved so successful since the organisation’s formation in 2002. These include British Food Fortnight - the biggest celebration of British food and drink on the calendar - a national programme of farm visits for NHS caterers, industry working groups to share knowledge, developing the online platform ‘British Food Fortnight Live’, and plenty more.
A social enterprise trades for environmental or social reasons, not for profit. Its funds are invested into providing a tangible benefit for communities across the country and the environment.
Tim and Derek were both delighted to become directors of Love British Food, and both are acutely aware of the role of the NHS and the public sector in general, in supporting its aims. Tim says: “The challenges of food security, ethical farming and nutritional food are more relevant than ever, and these are issues that British farmers are better suited than anyone to deliver on. This country produces high quality, affordable produce and we should be immensely proud of our farming heritage.
“The public sector has a significant part to play by committing to connect farm to fork. We are feeding the nation from cradle to grave and doing it with British produce benefits our local communities. This is an opportunity for all.”
Derek says: "I grew up rooted in a farming community, I am enthusiastic about advocating for the use of locally sourced produce, and the benefits this brings not only improves nutrition but our sustainability and local economy.
“Love British Food stands as an outstanding platform for championing our cause. Our distinctive position enables us to champion British food across the broader spectrum of the Public Sector and within our communities. We reach individuals through schools and other educational institutions, all while bringing the remarkable farmers, producers, and wholesalers to the forefront of what we do.”
Reiterating the aims
Alexia Robinson, Love British Food Founder, comments on the way forward: “I am delighted that Tim and Derek are joining me in this new exciting era for Love British Food. We will have a particular focus on inspiring and enabling robust, quality supply chains in hospitals, care homes, schools and universities.
“Love British Food is established as a promotion in these areas; and while there are pockets of very good work taking place around the country (Birmingham, Yorkshire, the new Cambridge children’s hospital to name a few) there is no national programme to enable a step-change to quality, nutritious food as standard in the public sector.
“We do not believe any Government’s statement of 50% local/sustainable sourcing will achieve much without a true change management programme on the ground.”
Celebrating the launch
Love British Food will hold its Public Sector Influencers meet the Producers event on Wednesday, March 20 in Hertfordshire. Where else but on a farm? Stuart Roberts is a well-known advocate for farming and consumer engagement, and he farms cereal, beef and sheep.
This promises to be a day of like-minded people, frank discussion and shared sense of purpose. The public sector has the potential to be a huge customer for British farming and this event will explain how farmers can sell into it. All the major public sector providers are attending and farmers, wholesalers and food manufacturers are being invited.
The event will be an on-farm working discussion on how public sector providers can work together with farmers and food producers to achieve robust supply chains of nutritious food. The aim is to agree a shared vision of what public sector caterers, providers and producers can aspire to.