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Bring home the harvest for British Food Fortnight 2013

A modern day Harvest Festival and you are all invited!

Following the success of Love British Food 2012 when British Food Fortnight was held during the Olympics and its school activities were part of the Diamond Jubilee, this year the national food promotion reverts to its traditional Autumn date and takes place 21st September to 6th October 2013. 

The event is the biggest showcase of food on the national calendar and celebrates its twelfth year with more activities than ever before for people to get involved, with a particular emphasis on schools, communities and young people. 

What’s Happening? A Harvest Lottery for schools; a challenge to find the community organising the most imaginative and inclusive harvest celebration; a call to the young to create a new harvest anthem; and culminating in a huge British Food Fortnight Harvest celebration at Westminster Abbey.  Plus the event’s annual drive to encourage shops, pubs and restaurants to run British food promotions during the Fortnight.  Here is a taster of how everyone can get involved; further details and entry forms are on www.lovebritishfood.co.uk : 

  • Bring Home the Harvest in your Community: In association with The Telegraph we are searching the British Isles to find the farmer, business or community that organises the most innovative, inclusive and imaginative harvest celebration during British Food Fortnight.  It could be a meet-the-producer harvest gathering organised by a farm shop; harvest themed menus in hospitals; door-stop and street sales of produce; harvest-swap shops of home-produced food in the workplace or local sports clubs; harvest suppers for the elderly; 8-80s barn dance knees-ups; parades of producers, tractors and livestock through towns; food and music festivals; scarecrow competitions; harvest loaf bake-a-thons; harvest suppers in pubs; or pumpkin championships.  We want people to have fun and give the French and the German wine and beer festivals a run for their money!

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges from the world of food and farming including: The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Raymond Blanc, Alan Titchmarsh and Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco.  The winners will be featured in The Telegraph and will be presented with The Telegraph & Love British Food Best Harvest Celebration 2013 trophy by The Secretary of State. 

  • Britain’s first digital harvest celebration!  CallingBritain’s young to create a new anthem for a modern day harvest celebration, have fun and have a chance at making history!  In association with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and working with the Scouts and The Girls Brigade, we are asking young people everywhere to get rapping, writing and singing and create a harvest anthem for today: a new ‘We plough the fields and scatter’,  a new harvest number one to inspire a new generation.  The piece will become the anthem for this year’s British Food Fortnight and will be judged by experts from the music industry and leaders from national youth organisations.
     
  • Harvest Lottery for schools:  All schools in the UK are being invited to enter a Harvest Lottery to win their place in Westminster Abbey at a spectacular British Food Fortnight harvest service that is being held especially for children in October.  To enter the lottery, schools are being asked to create a harvest box that celebrates the food produced in their part of the country.  Each harvest box will need to contain three elements: fruit and vegetables the children have grown themselves; food they have cooked in class; and a selection of food from local producers in their part of the country.   800 children will be selected by lottery to join VIPs and celebrities in Westminster Abbey where their harvest boxes will be presented and distributed to members of the community afterwards. 
     
  • Harvest fare on shop shelves and menus:  Pubs and restaurants, from the small to the very big food service outlets - led by ARAMARK, the event’s long standing sponsor - are invited to join in with celebratory harvest menus during British Food Fortnight.  And shops, from small independents to the major supermarkets, are invited to highlight the harvest in store with special food promotions and offers to get their customers involved. 
     
  • WHY IS NOW THE TIME TO REINVIGORATE THE HARVEST?  Commenting on the event’s harvest celebrations, organiser Alexia Robinson says: “The horse meat scandal has shocked consumers into reconsidering where their food comes from and buying British has risen substantially on their agenda.  There really does now seem to be a recognition that if you want quality, fully traceable food with the assurance that it has been produced to high standards and is what it says on the packet, then you are best buying British.  We could be entering a hey-day for British food so what better time to reinvigorate the traditional way of celebrating it.”

Alexia Robinson continues:  “We want to bring Harvest Festival into the 21st century and make it relevant and fun in the modern day.  This year’s British Food Fortnight is all about showing that everyone can get involved in celebrating the harvest: at home or at work, in your local pub, on your street, out shopping, in your children's school or online.  After all, we’re all but a few generations removed from the land.” 

  • WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE TAKE PART?  Look out for the brand new section of the website dedicated to the history of Harvest Festival and how to celebrate it: details of all the competitions, lots of ideas for taking part and 14 things people can do - one for each day of British Food Fortnight - to join in the fun and bring the harvest alive in their home.  Be the first to hear the news, follow the activities on Twitter @LoveBritishFood.
     
  • WHO IS BEHIND BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT? British Food Fortnight is sponsored by ARAMARK and is supported by a large family of organisations led by Brakes, E-foods, Hallmark Care Homes, Harrison Catering and Whiting andHammond.

WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE? To find out how you can take part, download promotional material, sign up for monthly updates on the latest British food news and for details of what is happening near you, see http://www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/ or email info@lovebritishfood.co.uk.


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