Jamie Oliver’s latest campaign to highlight the plight of the British pork industry has been deemed a success, having persuaded more than half of the population to buy British produce despite its slightly higher price.
Oliver’s latest programme, Jamie Saves Our Bacon, which was screened as part of Channel 4’s Great British Food Fight, urged the public to start buying correctly labelled British produce in order to save the nation’s struggling pig industry.
Now a survey of 1,000 people commissioned by the Conservative Party of public attitudes to food labelling, has revealed the effect Oliver’s campaign has had on the nation, with 53 per cent claiming they would buy British food even if it were at a higher price. Furthermore, 89 per cent of voters said Britain should grow more of its own food as it has become too dependent on imports.
The survey comes just weeks after ASDA chief executive Andy Bond criticised celebrity chefs in trade magazine The Grocer for ‘patronising’ lower income families who he claimed cannot afford the price of higher welfare meat.
However the survey revealed that almost half of the lower income respondents said they would buy British despite the higher price tag, with only 13 per cent of respondents claiming they would buy the cheapest food available, regardless of its origin.
To coincide with the survey, the Conservatives launched an Honest Food campaign at the National Farmers Union annual conference, to support British producers through the correct labelling of products, which will allow consumers to identify genuine British foods.
Nick Herbert, the Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary said: “People have a right to know where their food comes from. Meat labelled ‘British’ should be born and bred in Britain, raised to our high welfare standards. Other EU countries fight for the interests of their consumers and their farming industry within the trading rules. It’s time for the British Government to show the same spine.”
The Honest Food campaign has been backed by celebrity chefs Anthony Worrall Thompson, Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the latter of whose recent chicken welfare campaign saw an increase in the sales of free-range eggs and chickens.