The organisation behind national buy-British campaign plans to connect public sector with UK producers

Love British Food founder Alexia

Love British Food founder Alexia Robinson

Love British Food’s inaugural ‘Public Sector Influencers’ event on 20 March is set to connect the most influential people in the public sector with British farmers, producers and suppliers.

Key public sector providers such as the NHS and major foodservice suppliers to schools and institutions, as well as major British producers, are invited to a day of “frank discussion and a shared sense of purpose” at Hammonds End Farm in Hertfordshire, the promotional organisation said.

Love British Food said the public sector has the potential to be a huge customer for British farming, and this event will explain clearly and directly how farmers can sell into it.

Commenting on the new event, Alexia Robinson, Love British Food Founder, said: “Everyone we work with in the public sector agrees that we are on the cusp of real change in the way food is procured. There is an increasingly shared vision and agreement that purchasing from British suppliers should be the aspiration for NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, schools, universities, care homes and other public institutions.

”All have targets to deliver on sustainability, net zero, the environment and, most important, the need to provide nutritional food to the young, the sick, the elderly, their staff and other members of the public.

“Interestingly, this aspiration has not been as widely communicated to our farmers and producers, many of whom do not view or understand the public sector as a customer.

“This event aims to go beyond talk of aspirations and the detail of government buying standards to a frank discussion on the nitty gritty reality of how we can all work together to deliver robust supply chains of quality food to the vast public sector. Love British Food has always been about delivering positive change for local communities across the UK. That means tangible benefits, where advantages are felt in farms, businesses and the wider local economy.”

She added that real change will be best achieved through showing caterers and influencers the benefits of buying British first-hand on a farm; and giving farmers the opportunity to explain to buyers what they, in turn, need from buyers in order to deliver.

Public sector attendees will include NHS England, Public Sector Catering Alliance, Sodexo and Brakes. Representing fresh produce growers are Nick Wright (potatoes), Lea Valley Growers and Roberto Bosco (AB Fruits), Love British Food said.