DEFRA Secretary Hilary Benn has recently talked about the UK becoming more self-sufficient in its food production and has stated that 'it's about people eating more food seasonally'.

Disappointing, therefore, that the Government does not practice what it preaches. As part of its Rural Manifesto campaign to promote British farmers and producers, the Countryside Alliance wrote to the main Government departments asking how much of the produce they serve is British. The answers would make Mr Benn blush.

The Foreign Office said 'no detailed breakdown exists of individual residences' and the Cabinet Office, which runs Number 10, said, 'There is no information on whether the proportion of food procured in the past twelve months was domestically produced'. Only the Treasury scored well and sources a high proportion of UK produce.

This is simply not good enough. If the Government is telling us all to eat British they should be leading by example.

Talking about it is all very well but you can easily be found out, as the Prime Minister has been, by saying in Parliament that 'we all know British bacon is best' when the Cabinet Office hadn't bought a single rasher.

Simon Hart

Chief Executive

Countryside Alliance

367 Kennington Road


SE11 4PT