Clearly British campaign: Harrogate shop and cafe makes it easier to buy British

Charlotte Handley (centre), deputy shop manager at Fodder in Harrogate, promoting The Yorkshire Post's 'Clearly British' campaign, watched by Juile Smithe, shop manager, and Ben Turnbull, head butcher. (GL1008/05b)
Charlotte Handley (centre), deputy shop manager at Fodder in Harrogate, promoting The Yorkshire Post's 'Clearly British' campaign, watched by Juile Smithe, shop manager, and Ben Turnbull, head butcher. (GL1008/05b)
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A FIRST retailer has pledged to make clear to shoppers which products on its shelves are made using British milk, as part of The Yorkshire Post’s Clearly British campaign.

In support of our crisis-hit dairy farmers, we are calling on shops, food processors and the wider food industry to clearly label where the milk in their dairy products comes. That way shoppers can make at-a-glance decisions to support British dairy farmers.

And in a maiden victory for the campaign, Fodder, the award-winning Harrogate cafe and shop, has given its support.

Fodder has a clearly labelled shelf, dedicated to stocking cheese, butter and yoghurts only made with British milk, as well as cartons of British milk from Dales and Acorn dairies. Profits from the retail outlet at the Great Yorkshire Showground go towards the work of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

On why Fodder was backing the campaign, its managing director Heather Parry said: “Fodder always has and always will sell only British milk, cream, yogurt and butter in their shop and cafe. It was set up to support Yorkshire farmers and producers and has been ‘banging the drum’ about the benefits of eating local for six years. The more of us who can work together to support our amazing farmers the better.”

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She she hopes shoppers will feel encouraged to buy British.

“We’re spoilt with the quality and a current plentiful supply of great British dairy products but if our dairy farmers cannot make a living then we are going to be importing products that will not be as fresh and will not be as tasty.

“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure we are buying British every time we go shopping. We need to instil a pride and passion in supporting our farmers and then enjoying the best flavours and goodness our countryside delivers.”

Farming Minister George Eustice, who has also backed our campaign, said he had written to supermarkets asking them to clarify whether they are following an industry-led voluntary code on dairy labelling and that he wanted that code strengthening.

He also wants Brussels to reconsider its block on mandatory country of origin dairy labels, a call we are making through the Clearly British campaign.

Miss Parry urged the Government to look at what it can do to strengthen labelling rules: “Retailers are certainly a key part of this campaign but to truly make a difference it has to be a partnership between the Government and their labelling laws and the producers who package their products; to make sure the consumers are really clear on what they are buying.”

Under current EU rules, dairy products can be labelled as produced in whichever country they were processed last rather than according to where the milk is actually from. And there is added confusion from an oval-shaped label known as ‘the health mark’ which can say UK, but which only indicates where the product was processed or packaged, not where the raw ingredients are from.

We want to clear, unambiguous labelling of all dairy products, and so far our campaign has been backed by the National Farmers’ Union, Red Tractor, the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers and Richmond’s Conservative MP Rishi Sunak.

SIGN THE CLEARLY BRITISH PETITION

Our readers can help to put pressure on retailers, food processors and the wider food industry to clearly label dairy products with where their milk is from by signing our online petition.

We also want you to send us examples of any confusing dairy labelling you come across, and you can do so by tweeting images to @benbthewriter using #cleardairylabels

To sign the petition, click here.