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Sourcing Local Produce


See also:  UK Farmer's Markets


Many large supermarket chains source their produce in bulk internationally in a bid to cut costs and provide certain foods all year round, which would otherwise be out of season in Britain. Warmer climates abroad mean many foods can be grown all year round.


Not only is the environmental damage greater for transporting produce not sourced in the UK, but it takes longer for the food to reach consumers; resulting in loss of freshness.


Through buying from companies who source their produce locally, you help to support British farming; whose work helps to keep Britainís countryside looking the way it does. It also means us consumers receive fresher produce that hasnít spent much time in transit. 


Sourcing Local Fruit & Vegetables


It is recommended we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, and these carry most nutrients when fresh. Fruit and vegetables shipped in from overseas are typically picked before they are ripe. This gives them less time to develop fully and therefore do not contain as many vitamins and minerals as those picked at the correct time. Signs of ripening will continue to occur after picking; however they will never have the same nutritional value as if they were left to ripen on the vine.


During transit fresh fruit and vegetables can be exposed to light and heat, which can also degrade nutrients.


Itís best to only buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season and check labels to see where they have been grown. If they are out of season it is best to buy frozen, as some nutrients will have been preserved.


Sourcing Local Seafood & Fish


British seafood is sourced to some of the highest welfare standards and with the most environmental care in the world.


Fish is low in calories, high in protein and rich in natural oils, vitamins and minerals and is best consumed as fresh as possible. Buying fish and seafood from suppliers who source their produce from British seas supports local fishermen.


British fish suppliers such as Bellís Fishmongers, who are based in Carlisle source fish from Scotland and England, and can guarantee that fish is delivered to you within 48 hours of landing.


Sourcing Local Meat


British meat is much safer than that of our overseas counterparts and Britainís beef industry is now the envy of the world. We have a cattle passport system which means that every animal can be traced back uniquely to its birthplace and mother; this ensures that farmers take great care of their livestock and thrive to produce the best quality meat they can.


British chicken is the safest in Europe, with just 2% of British chickens carrying salmonella; compared to 30% in the rest of Europe. All British hens are vaccinated against the infection.


Sourcing Local Game


British game includes pheasant, rabbit, partridge and deer. It is wild, natural and free range and can only be shot during specific times of the year. Game can be bought fresh during shooting seasons or frozen when out of season.


Before buying game you should check the shooting seasons of your area. The shooting seasons are as follows:


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         Grouse: 12th August to 10th December

         Pheasant: 1st October to 1st February

         Partridge: 1st September to 1st February

         Duck and Goose: 1st September to 31st January

         Hare: 1st August to 29th February

         Red Deer Stags: 1st August to 30th April (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
1st July to 20th October (Scotland)

         Red Deer Hinds: 1st November to 31st March (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
21st October to 15th February (Scotland)

         Sika Deer Stags: 1st August to 30th April (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

         Sika Deer Hinds: 1st November to 31st March (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
21st October to 15th February (Scotland)

         Fallow Bucks: 1st August to 30th April

         Fallow Does: 1st November to 31st March (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
21st October to 15th February (Scotland)

         Roe Bucks: 1st April to 31st October (England and Wales)
1st April to 20th October (Scotland)

         Roe Does: 1st November to 31st March (England and Wales)
21st October to 31st March (Scotland)


You can contact local hunts to acquire fresh game meat or find a local supplier who can provide meat ready for cooking.


The best way of sourcing fresh, local produce is to grow your own. However, if you donít have the time or space farm shops will sell fresh food produced on their farm and you will be able to discuss with them how this has been grown. Local butcherís shops will provide locally sourced meat and websites such as source British caught fish and seafood to ensure maximum quality and freshness. Ensuring you just buy British and buy from small, local businesses you will support the local economy and have a diet rich in nutrients and quality. 



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