British food is best, says new Olympics campaign

A new campaign is aiming to get British-grown food on menus across the country during the 2012 Olympic games in an effort to create a more sustainable and fair food system

People across the UK should take pride in their food industry, say campaigners attempting to boost interest in British-grown food in time for the Olympics in London.

Must Be British is a drive to get British-grown food on menus across the UK during the 2012 games. This could keep millions of pounds in the national economy, according to How it Should be (HiSbe), the Brighton-based social enterprise  behind the initiative.

HiSbe founders Ruth and Amy Anslow, who launched the venture in April 2011, believe everyone has the right to healthy, sustainable and affordable food, and point out that British growers adhere to some of the strictest quality standards in Europe.

The London 2012 Olympics is expected to bring in over 300,000 extra tourists to the UK, which Ruth believes will present cafes, pubs and restaurants with an opportunity to show off the best of what Britain has to offer. She said: “With the eyes of the world squarely on London, this is the biggest peacetime feeding mission the UK has ever had!”

Must Be British also aims to expose the flaws in the current food industry, which campaigners claim is dominated by huge companies and retailers whose methods of working harm our health and communities through poor animal welfare, unfair treatment of producers in the UK and abroad, massive amounts of food waste and damage to the environment.

“We need a fairer, sustainable food system for the 21st century that puts people before profit,” said Ruth, “Making the most of British and local food production is a key part of this.”

Hundreds of people have pledged their support for Must be British on hiSbe’s website, which also includes a blog on food sustainability. Social networking is helping to grow the campaign’s momentum. “Our Twitter hashtag, #MustBeBritish is being picked up by farmers and foodies in support of local and seasonal British food,” said Ruth.

HiSbe hopes that long-term, the campaign will show the UK food industry that the demand for home-grown food exists and that dependency on imports from other countries can be reduced.

“We want to contribute to creating a Great British food legacy for the Olympics, but also increase awareness and demand for British food that continues well after the games are over,” Ruth explained.