Campers ‘Eat Local’ Campaign Backs Farmers Weekly Initiative
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Wednesday 12 April 2006
Farmers Weekly’s campaign Local Food is Miles Better is getting backing from The Camping and Caravanning Club as it continues to encourage over 400,000 members to buy and eat local produce and “put something back into the economy and environment of the places we visit”, (David Bellamy, President of The Camping and Caravanning Club).
Campers spend around £60 per night; per camping unit on food and resources. The Clubs eat local Campaign was launched three years ago to highlight the benefits of supporting local farmers, fishermen and retailers in and around the Club’s network of 100 award-winning sites.
Display boards providing information on where campers can buy produce farmed, grown and caught locally are readily available on camp sites across the . Information on restaurants, breweries and markets etc. stocking this wealth of produce also gives campers the opportunity to explore the best, quality food on offer and at the same time support local rural economies.
This campaign is also supported by the Clubs 1,200-plus Certificated Sites. These are smaller, member only sites which accept up to five caravans or motorhomes at any one time, plus tents. Many of these little gem sites are often on farms which supply local produce to the local communities and to the campers which use the site.
David Bellamy told us: “Buying local allows farmers and fishermen to cut out the middle-men and make a bit more than they would normally from the food they sell. Many are faced with massive pressures to produce ever-cheaper food, often at the expense of the environment.
“One of the great joys of a really good holiday is searching out a local delicacy or two, or having the time to really search out the best ingredients for that recipe you’ve been meaning to try on the caravan stove or BBQ”.
Calor, the ’s leading LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) are the sponsors for the eat local initiative. Gavin Tomlinson, Sales Promotion Manager for Calor said: “This campaign enables campers and caravanners to get more from their holidays whilst helping sustain communities by giving something back to local producers of great quality food. A truly win win situation.”
Farmers Weekly Food Miles Campaign Director Julian Gairdner said: ”We are delighted The Camping and Caravanning Club have already been backing local food and we hope their members will get fully behind the nationwide initiative we launched yesterday. Local food cuts food miles, and thereby pollution, and helps support local producers. It’s important the whole country reconnects with issues about where their food comes from. Our exclusive survey told us 19% of people think oranges are grown naturally in the . There’s clearly an education job to do.”
Jenny Rooke and her husband own and run Bedlam Grange, a 300 acre working farm two miles east of Helmsley in North Yorkshire. The farm is mixed arable and produces beef, lamb and pork. Free range hens supply the fresh eggs daily and there are strawberries to pick in late June/July.
Six years ago Jenny and decided to set up a Certificated Site in one and a half acres of land adjacent to their farmhouse. Campers use the site from April to October, enjoying a walk through the countryside or the farm and tasting Jenny and ’s produce.
Following the success of the site and the increased amounts of local produce the Rookes are now providing, they’ve decided to turn their redundant granary buildings into a farm shop and tearoom this year. They’ll be able to sell their own beef, lamb and pork and locally sourced fresh produce as well as serving good old fashioned home baking in the tearoom.
Mark Rooke told us: “Campers want to buy locally produced foods. You can’t get anything for at least 10 miles and we wanted to do something about it. This farm shop will provide the best, quality produced food for locals, passing trade and campers alike.”
The site costs just £7 per pitch per night.