NFU brings food, farming and hospitality sector together to speak as one voice

Roundtable representatives in Westminster.

NFU President Minette Batters has launched a new hospitality report, which brings together voices from the food, farming and hospitality sectors.

Based on research with businesses and consumers from across the UK, the report showcases the British food and drink story and how farmers and the supply chain can work together to add value to businesses.

At the report launch, a roundtable showcased how the Out of Home market can come together to work collaboratively in order to change culture and show the value that British food can provide to businesses around the country.

Read the report: 'Food, Farming and Hospitality: Why the British story matters'

Adding value and furthering collaboration

The report states how sourcing British produce can add value to hospitality businesses and why developing collaborative relationships with local producers will enable British food to be an integral part of 'out of home' brands and the 'farm to fork' story.

“British farming, food and hospitality are intrinsically linked, and this report sets out our vision on how British food can add value to hospitality brands and why they should build the farming story into their business."

NFU President Minette Batters

Speaking at the report launch, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat on the go, discussing business over lunch or celebrating an important event, eating out is central to everyday life, with iconic products and brands playing a huge role in keeping the nation fed.

“Hospitality in the UK is recognised as one of the finest in the world, but the sector, like British farming, has faced huge challenges over the past 18 months against a backdrop of record levels of inflation, coupled with the cost of living crisis, and coming just months after struggling through the pandemic which impacted so many hospitality businesses.

“British farming, food and hospitality are intrinsically linked, and this report sets out our vision on how British food can add value to hospitality brands and why they should build the farming story into their business.

“Developing relationships between the out of home sector and British farmers and growers will create even more opportunities to serve up local food that is safe and fully traceable, providing the provenance the public increasingly appreciates – as well as helping to strengthen our domestic food security.

“The NFU will continue these conversations by holding further roundtable discussions in order to engage with all aspects of the UK’s diverse hospitality sector.”

Roundtable brings together industry leaders

To launch the report, the NFU brought together industry leaders and operators for a roundtable discussion and to hear how sustainability and “supporting local” holds a firm place in the public’s buying choices.

Organisations represented at the roundtable included: UK Hospitality, the Royal Society of Culinary Arts, Greene King, Hawksmoor, the Zero Carbon Forum, WRAP, Peach2020, AHDB and NFU Cymru.

The discussion acknowledged the multiple benefits of purchasing British food and drink and working more closely with Britain’s farmers and growers.

The discussion also focussed upon how we can showcase British food production standards, create more relationships between businesses, farmers, chefs, and consumers, alongside how we can tackle big issues such as sustainability ambitions and supply chain challenges.

Talking at the event, Jim Cathcart, Policy Director of UK Hospitality pointed out that “it is important to recognise the diversity of the businesses in the hospitality sector”, and welcomed the report to bring everyone’s voice together.

All attendees were keen to develop one voice. Lisa Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts reiterated “the need for farmers, suppliers and operators to strengthen their voice to government”.

On behalf of members, the NFU is focused on opening conversations and creating platforms for relationships within the supply chain to flourish.

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