Home truths about food as shoppers say they want local produce

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More local food please, we’re British – that’s the strong message from people across the East of England as the NFU launches a major new campaign to highlight farming’s contribution to the British economy. A new survey shows that:

> More than three quarters of the East of England public think Britain should be more self-sufficient in food

> The same percentage believes supermarkets should sell more British food

> Eight out of 10 people across the region actively look out for British food at least sometimes – and 30 per cent always look out for British food, where available.

The results come from a OnePoll survey commissioned by the NFU as it launches its new campaign Farming Delivers for Britain.

The aim is to highlight the key role played by an industry that employs 40,000 people in the East of England, generated output valued at almost £3 billion in 2010 and manages three quarters of land in the region.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: “Britain’s self-sufficiency in food has dropped by 15 per cent in the past 20 years but I know everyone can do their bit by enjoying a more seasonal diet and eating more British food when it’s at its best. Our message is simple: ask for British food. Make it British, make it local and make it happen.”

The report sets out the main themes of the campaign – food, the economy, animal welfare, the environment, careers, and cleaner energy.

NFU regional director Pamela Forbes said: “This report showcases what farming delivers for Britain but also the potential that exists in areas such as green energy, job creation and economic growth.

“Farmers in our region have the fertile farmland, skills and the public support to build on today’s economic success story. We believe there are exciting times ahead for agriculture in the East of England and the survey shows the public agrees. More than three quarters believe farming will be more important in the future.”

To find out more visit {http:// www.farmingdelivers.co.uk|the Farming Delivers website}