Posted: Sat 23rd Dec 2023

A toast to British farmers and food producers this Christmas

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Dec 23rd, 2023

As households across the UK stock up on groceries for Christmas Day, UK Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has extended a heartfelt tribute to the British farmers, food producers, and retailers who are the backbone of our festive feasts.

In a celebration of the nation’s agricultural prowess, Barclay highlighted the diverse range of British produce that adorns the traditional Christmas dinner table.

From Scottish salmon and Norfolk turkeys to Yorkshire sprouts and Kent apples, which are essential ingredients in mince pies, the UK’s rich agricultural heritage is showcased in every aspect of the festive meal.

According to the British Poultry Council, an impressive 8-9 million turkeys, 90% of which are British, are expected to be enjoyed in UK households this Christmas. This statistic underscores the significant role of local poultry farmers in meeting the seasonal demand.

Data from market research firm Kantar reveals that last year, two-thirds of the cheese and vegetables purchased in the run-up to Christmas were sourced from within the UK. Brussels sprouts, a quintessential Christmas side dish, saw over 25,000 tonnes bought last year, with a significant portion purchased during the festive season.

Additionally, British consumers spent £45 million on nearly 19 million Christmas puddings and £132 million on 98 million packs of mince pies.

In his statement, Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said, “Our farmers and food producers work tirelessly all year round to keep the nation fed, but their efforts are especially crucial in the run-up to Christmas to meet the demand for their top-quality, high-welfare, seasonal produce. Gathering friends and family around the table to share great food is a highlight of Christmas, and it’s vital to acknowledge where it all originates. This year, I invite everyone to raise a glass to the dedicated farmers and food producers who fill our plates at Christmas.”

Echoing Barclay’s sentiments, Jim Bligh, Director of Corporate Affairs and Packaging at the Food and Drink Federation, added, “Food and drink manufacturers are pivotal during the festive period, ensuring households can enjoy their Christmas meals with loved ones. The industry has many unsung heroes who contribute to the much-loved food we eat at Christmas time, and I wish them all a very Happy Christmas.”

As the nation prepares to indulge in its festive meals, the spotlight is on the hardworking individuals in the UK’s food and drink industry, whose dedication ensures that Christmas remains a time of culinary delight and tradition.

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