Plans for 2004
This year''s event is about putting the ''ooO'' back into food
In recognition of the acute awareness across the country of the need to educate young people more about food and nutrition, this year''s event is focusing strongly on food education within schools.
The focus is learning about food: about the diverse and delicious range of food available in Britain and about the health benefits and pleasures of eating quality, fresh, seasonal and regional produce.
Two complementary themes are being promoted:
Educating young people & Food as part of our heritage
Educating young people
Education is the most important catalyst in achieving a lasting food revolution in the UK. We will encourage schools to hold special events for children during the fortnight and we will encourage producers and the retail, catering and tourism sectors to play a part in facilitating this.
Food as part of our heritage
Many of the foods and drinks promoted during British Food Fortnight have a history as ancient as our castles and are as much a part of the tapestry of our heritage. As national treasures, they need a similar concerted effort to preserve them, particularly those made by-hand by small producers. This is our message in 2004 - it will provide fun opportunities for children to learn about the history of our food and drink; for pubs and restaurants to champion their regional produce; and for the tourism sector to promote regional food and drink as an integral part of the visitor experience.
The target this year, therefore, is to encourage EVERY school to hold some sort of food event during the fortnight in the hope that this will generate the enthusiasm & interest necessary to sustain similar activity year-round.
In the Education Sector:
1. We are working with the Department of Education & Skills and the Department of Health to make young people aware of the diverse and delicious range of food available in Britain and about the health benefits and pleasures of eating quality, fresh, seasonal and regional produce. In order to encourage and enable schools to take part, we are producing the definitive guide to including food as part of the national curriculum and making it available to all 26,000 schools in England & 2,000 schools in Wales.
For details of ''Putting the ''ooO'' back into Food - A Resource Pack for Schools'' and how to order, click here
2. We are establishing a network of resources across the country that teachers may draw upon to support them in teaching young people about food. Local butchers, restaurants, chefs, tourism outlets and markets are well-placed to offer activity-based teaching and learning facilities for their local schools. We are working with retail and catering associations to encourage their members to form links with local schools and to run special activities for families and children. For example, a tasting for children by a local butcher as organized last year by a London butcher for three after-school play centres; members of the Restaurant Association that lend their kitchens to local schools for cooking classes; and National Trust properties that offer kitchen gardens for learning activities.
The following organisations have pledged the support of their members to work with schools during the fortnight:
The Academy of Culinary Arts, British Hospitality Association, Churches Together in England, Craft Guild of Chefs, Guild of Fine Food Retailers, Guild of Q Butchers, National Association of British Market Authorities, National Farmers'' Retail & Markets Association, National Federation of Women''s Institutes, the National Trust, Restaurant Association and various federations of the Parent Teachers'' Association.
In the Retail & Catering Sector
1. We are working with retail and catering associations to increase the stock of regional food in shops, pubs and restaurants during the fortnight. The following shops, pubs and restaurants are all planning special promotions:
· all Budgens'' stores will be offering special regional food promotions
· Punch Tavern pubs are planning special menus
· 350 delicatessans of the Guild of Fine Food Retailers are increasing their stock of regional food during the fortnight
· 220 members of the Guild of Quality Butchers are planning on working with their local schools
· many National Trust properties are planning events
· VisitBritain and all the Tourist Boards will be promoting the event
and many more to come….
And in London two flagship locations are championing the event:
· Simpsons on the Strand will be serving rare breeds of British meat during the fortnight
· Fortnum & Mason who are planning special activities for children (contact Victoria, press dept 020 7973 4091)
2. We are producing the definitive guide to Britain''s regional food and drink and distributing to 12,000 shops, pubs and restaurants in the build-up to the fortnight.
For details of the Guide and how to order, click here
3. We are challenging the catering sector to think ''Beyond the chicken nugget''
and to re-think their children''s menus and place healthy, seasonal food for children on their menus.
For details on how to take part in the Campaign for Real Ale''s competition to find the best pub menu for children, click here.
4. We are capitalising on the link with Harvest Festival: parish and diocese networks are using the fortnight to promote their traditional harvest celebration to the non-church going public. This is proving particularly attractive to schools who often use Harvest Festival for themed assemblies and community events. The dates of the event cover the three main Sundays in the Church''s Harvest Festival calendar to enable this.