It’s no secret that the past few years have seen the UK as a whole transformed into a nation of foodies on a level none could have predicted. Eating out has become an almost religious experience, eating in has become the new eating out for most and people in general have never been more concerned about both the quality and the origins of the food they eat.
Just a couple of decades ago, being able to track exactly where any given product had come from right back to its origins was possible, but hardly a priority. Over time however, the whole ‘field to fork’ focus had become not only important, but essential to millions. Why now? For the most part, perhaps the way in which we’ve become more aware than ever before of the extent to which standards tend to vary at different stages in the production and distribution process.
For example, a product may look as premium as it gets and sell for a high price, but perhaps back on the farm was blasted with chemical pesticides daily. Meat might be delicious, but the welfare of the animals reared and slaughtered matters to almost everyone these days. And then there’s the welfare of the workforce, environmental impact, contributing to local business success and so on. We’ve become a nation obsessed with knowing where everything that makes it onto the table has come from, which can only be a good thing!
We’re firm believers in the proactive ‘field to fork’ approach to dining, catering, farming, manufacturing and so on. But the way we see it, we don’t think it should only be limited to the products and ingredients themselves. What about the tools, accessories, hardware and supplies used throughout the process?
For example, if you’re a business or a consumer with a genuine interest in and regard for the whole ‘field to fork’ thing, are you sure that wooden chopping board follows the ethos you believe in? If you’d prefer to work only with British products from British suppliers, what about the hardware and accessories you have around the place?
Technically speaking, ‘field to fork’ in terms of responsibility and buying British can only happen if you go beyond the ingredients/foods themselves to look at what’s involved on a slightly wider basis. There’s something uniquely appealing about using only British ingredients prepped using British hardware and perhaps even served on British-made products. If you’re looking to deliver a truly British experience from field to fork, this could be the only way of getting it done properly.
As the UK heads closer to Brexit, focusing on British business and industry is only going to increase in importance as we all make the best of whatever comes. But whatever happens, it’s safe to say that the whole ‘field to fork’ issue in the minds of both businesses and consumers is likely to continue intensifying in importance.