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Harper Forum report- Tom Hunt of the Ludlow Food Centre

Posted 28 January 2011

Tom Hunt with Forum Chairman, Sam Bales

By Harper Forum Reporter, Charlotte Harley.

A food related Forum brought new ideas and aspirations to attention this week.  Mr Tom Hunt, Marketing Manager at the Ludlow Food Centre, addressed ‘Where does our food come from?’

During what was an enlightening talk, the Forum was asked what is British? From recent publicity, most of the audience was aware of the misleading publicity surrounding packaging. For example, the Sainsbury’s Lancashire Hotpot made with New Zealand lamb.

Mr Hunt questioned society’s nature and reliance on supermarkets, what consumers are subjected to and what a majority of farmers will kneel too.

He said that consumers deal in the realms of ‘costs and quantities’ and questioned why farmers and producers of these goods do not insist on ‘Quality, Locality and Good Value?’

The devastating truth of the current deception was also illustrated by the American GM Pig- a pig that now contains mouse genes and e-coli DNA, all to make it eco-friendly and faster growing.

This is where places like the Ludlow Food Centre come in as it is a chance for local producers to collectively buy and sell.

Of the Centres sale lines, 86% is sourced from just four counties- Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Powys. This compares to less than 10% of British produce in supermarkets. Here they also have production kitchens where people can see how their goods are made and represents a homemade produce industry at a commercial forefront.

During questioning, the speaker was asked what should we do to help the issues arising? He implied that the mindset needs to change-  reading labels and comparing prices, standing up for the issues of quality over quantity, daring to learn how to cook and how to handle food again instead of take-aways and ready meals.    

Next week’s discussion is delivered by Forum sponsors, Frontier.

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