Celebrating British sustainability: from farm to plate, LLTL founder Barbara Cossins is passionate about locally-sourced food
Our British farmers and producers work continually through all four seasons to ensure that the food on our tables is truly sustainable whenever possible.
Sustainability has become a buzz word – especially in the catering industry. The provenance of all we eat is important; and it needs to be locally-sourced and from a replenishable source in order to be truly sustainable.
Education is key, particularly in catering and hospitality. It’s shocking how little many people understand about the food they are eating, where it comes from and how it was reared and produced before it arrived on their plates.
We have to try and get everyone on the same page, across all types of business, so that as many people as possible have a good understanding of where their food has come from and what the ingredients are that they are eating.
We have it right here
In my book, eating local is what’s best. If you can source and eat seasonal food from close by, then you are on to a winner.
I am always sad to read about other countries’ fish and meat being bought and sold on our British menus, when we have exactly the same already here in the UK.
We’re importing food that we don’t need, simply to foster reciprocal trade agreements with governments in other countries. This benefits neither the planet nor the public.
We should be requesting British food in restaurants (and all catering establishments) whenever possible. It just makes sense. In Britain, we have a wonderful supply of fresh fish and we don’t eat and enjoy enough of it ourselves.
Our farmers here in Britain have the most dictated and regulated agriculture system, and the best farming practices in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to eat British-farmed meat? It is guaranteed antibiotic and hormone-free – not many countries can say the same.
While our standards are the best, we are at a disadvantage when competing to produce cheap food. But remember, those few pennies you might save on cheap imported food could make all the difference to our farmers if you choose to buy British.
The power of the market
Britain is one of the few countries in the world where the supermarkets decide the prices paid to the farmers. It is an unfair system – enormous corporations have so much power over our food production industry. We all need to get behind our farmers, growers and producers in order to become a voice for the future – before it’s too late.
Love Local Trust Local is a food label that was created by farmers in 2018, in order to educate the public on what is grown, caught, reared, brewed or crafted right here in Britain. Each Love Local Trust Local county can proudly have its own flag displayed to show where its food is grown; to explain soil types, to showcase vegetables, fruit, meats, cheese, beers and wines that have been produced in that county. What a wonderful thing to be showing off your own county to the rest of the UK and the world!
There are so many things that we need to learn about food. For example, did you know that Silver Spoon sugar is produced in England from British sugar beet? It’s a great one to buy – and such a simply choice to make. Do stop to read labels in shops and on the food that you buy.
Talk to your butcher, greengrocer and farm shop about the foods you choose – it can make such a big difference.