East most likely to choose British

EASTERN shoppers are more likely to look for British farm produce than those anywhere else in the UK.

A survey published on Monday to launch the National Farmers’ Union’s Farming Delivers campaign shows that 80 per cent of people in the East look for British produce at least occasionally and 30 per cent look all the time. That compares with 73 and 29 per cent, respectively, nationally.

An NFU spokesman said: “This is the highest percentage of all regions. Next highest was West Midlands at 78 per cent.”

In the East 77 per cent of people agree or strongly agree that supermarkets should stock more British food compared with 73 per cent nationally. Of those 44 per cent in the East strongly agreed, which was the highest regional figure and eight per cent above the national percentage.

Also, 77 per cent of eastern respondents thought Britain should be more self sufficient with food, which was four per cent above the national figure. The NFU says our self-sufficiency in food is down 15 per cent on 20 years ago.

NFU Eastern Region director Pamela Forbes said: “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.”

NFU President Peter Kendall launched the campaign at Westminster on Monday, unveiling a report, Farming Delivers for Britain, which highlights the key role of the industry which 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.

Mr Kendall said everyone can help by eating British food.

For more information on the campaign visit www.farmingdelivers.co.uk or the NFU stand at Suffolk Show on June 7 and 8.