That's the hard hitting message behind this year's British Food Fortnight, when campaigners will also urge the slashing of food miles by strengthening local food networks and creating the shortest chain between producer and consumer.
The organisers of this year's week, October 26-November 10, are working hard to repeat the high achieved four years ago. This saw 98% of the retailers taking part increase sales of British food and drink by over 15%, and 72% going on to regularly stock foods initially just bought in for the promotion.
The ambition is to raise sales of British food and drink by 10% over the two weeks, with a target of 15% in small independents. A target of 50% awareness of the campaign among consumers has been set.
State backing is giving a boost to the event, organised by The Guild of Fine Food Retailers, Campaign for Real Food and the Countryside Alliance. The steering committee for the Your Countryside You're Welcome' campaign, comprising Defra, the Countryside Agency, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and the English Tourism Council, has adopted British Food Fortnight as its autumn promotion.
Over 230 members of the Guild are scheduled to join the promotion and each store will receive a £30 tasting allowance. To qualify, retailers must decorate their stores with point of purchase material. They must demonstrate they have introduced a minimum of six new regional British foods and conducted regular instore tastings throughout the two weeks.
The types of food being promoted include local dairy produce, seasonal fruit, game, local baked goods and local beers.