Kerridge, chef patron of Michelin starred gastropub the Hand and Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, gave his backing to an online campaign aimed at making food and farming part of the debate surrounding the upcoming election.
He said: “For me British food has that little bit of heart and soul. The support we should give to the farmers on this small island of ours is very important. Not only is it about knowing where your food comes from – which I think leads to better quality and high standards – it will also ensure jobs.
“I am pleased to say the majority of our food at the Hand and Flowers is British and I am really lucky to have one-to-one relationships with my suppliers – I know that food grown close to home means top quality and freshness. And I am supporting my local farmers, which is key to a thriving food sector. We mustn’t take our home-grown food supply for granted.”
A report recently published by the NFU asserted that the UK’s self-sufficiency had declined to 60% over the last 30 years.
It claimed that if this level of decline were to continue, only half the nation’s food would be produced on British farms in the next 25 years.
Minette Batters, deputy president of the NFU, said: “We are delighted that Tom has pledged his support and we would urge consumers to do the same.
“We know that food and farming is important to many people – 85% have told us they think supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms and 77% think government should focus more on creating policies that help UK farmers to increase the amount of food Britain produces.
“As a nation, we urgently need to take steps to start increasing our self-sufficiently. That requires long-term investment; there is no overnight solution. I think the government has a role to play to ensure our farmers can be confident in their future, a future where they can invest and grow their business. And retailers need to do more to market and sell British food whenever it is in season.”
Operators interested in getting involved with the campaign should visit www.votebritishfood.com
You can watch Tom Kerridge speak on the issue below: