This week has seen Celebrity Chefs, Farming Unions and Social media Influencers alike stepping up and sharing Petitions on a hugely important issue, one that affects the future of our Food, what comes into the Country and more importantly what stays out.
It’s been satisfying to see so much interest in the topic and so many people with that bit of social ‘clout’ bringing this issue to the forefront of the masses minds.
But this is a Marathon not a race, it is of the utmost importance that we persistently lobby our MPs and AMs, and continuously assist our Unions in putting pressure on those that ultimately will be making these Trade Deals.
It shouldn’t be underestimated how difficult these deals will be, it’s not a case of saying, well we don’t like that so we won’t have it, we are trading with the World now and must abide by World Trade Rules we won’t have the comfort blanket, the power or the influence of the EU, we will be challenged at every step.
However in the last few weeks something quite unexpected has happened, something none of us ever really imagined could happen, we all faced unprecedented times and the Supermarkets couldn’t cope.
Their finely tuned supply chains could not provide what the consumers demanded.
Shelves were bare, they limited purchases of milk, baking isles were decimated.
Bread flour, well that became some kind of mythical sundry you could only read about in Paul Hollywood Books that had now been moved to the ‘fiction’ section of online bookshops.
It was almost impossible to get a home delivery slot, so something quite unforeseen happened, people returned to their local shops, their Village Shops, the Bakeries, the Butchers.
They brought flour straight from the mill, milk straight from Farm vending machines or delivered by the milkman, trays of eggs, a sacks of potatoes was the new kitchen ‘must have’ people started to value the basics,the necessities and the quality of good local food.
This I believe has been a tremendous opportunity to potentially change the way people shop on a mass scale, something in all honesty I thought was fairly impossible.
I’m not nieve enough to deny that many will return to the mundane weekly ‘lob it in the overflowing trolley shop’ but for some it may have just planted that seed, the seed that there’s something special about buying milk from the cows you pass on your way to work, flour from the reinstated Mill that floods your childhood memories, bread that you can smell from the tiny little bakery when taking your early morning exercise, or meat from the sheep and cattle you see on the distant hills.
So whilst we must keep up the pressure to ensure some foods stay out let’s not forget to focus on what we have right here, some of the worlds most exceptional foods, produced to the very highest welfare standards, they are special, they bear no comparison to some of these mass produced, factory farmed imports.
Good quality local Food is for life not just for Covid, the more we shout about it, the more people will listen.