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Great British Food Campaign

Volume 609: debated on Thursday 5 May 2016

1. What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Great British Food campaign in promoting British food and drink. (904817)

We set up the Great British Food Unit to drive export growth and help companies identify new opportunities. The British brand is world renowned for heritage and quality. In April, I was in the US championing products from the great British curry to gin and British beef and lamb.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that impressive response. Britain is famous for its seafood, and the delicacy of Morecambe bay shrimps, from my constituency, is internationally renowned. It is nice to know that the Government are doing all that they possibly can to ensure that such dishes are on international dinner plates; will she elaborate a little on what she is doing to make sure that they are internationally renowned?

I agree that Morecambe bay shrimps are a fine product, along with other great Lancashire products, such as Bury black pudding, the Eccles cake and the hotpot. May I make a suggestion? Yorkshire has three protected food names, whereas Lancashire has only one. At the Department we would be very keen to help Lancashire producers get that protected status, so that they can become world renowned, too.

My right hon. Friend will know that Weetabix, which is based in Burton Latimer in my constituency, is a great British breakfast cereal, because she launched the Great British Food Unit at its headquarters. Will she ensure that Weetabix is always served at her Department’s breakfast meetings and all the international trade symposiums it organises around the world?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that Weetabix is a fantastic product. Not only is it exported around the world, but all of the wheat is grown within 50 miles of the Weetabix factory, so it is a real example of linking through from farm to fork. I proudly display my own box of Elizabeth Truss Weetabix on my desk at the Department for all visitors to see when they arrive at my office.

It is always useful to have a bit of information. We are very greatly obliged to the Secretary of State, as we have learned more about her domestic arrangements.