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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Tribute paid to farmers putting Christmas dinner on our tables

Brussel sprouts

As the UK stocks up on groceries ahead of Christmas Day, Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has paid tribute to the British farmers, food producers and retailers supplying our favourite festive fare.

From Scottish salmon and Norfolk turkeys to Yorkshire sprouts and the Kent apples which fill our mince pies, to Northern Ireland's dairy farmers, the best of British produce is the trademark of a traditional Christmas dinner.

According to the British Poultry Council, UK households will tuck into a staggering 8-9 million turkeys this Christmas – 90% of which are British.

Data from Kantar shows that two-thirds of the cheese and vegetables bought in the run-up to Christmas last year were British.

Brussels sprouts remain a favourite accompaniment, with over 25,000 tonnes of British sprouts bought last year – over a third of which were in the festive season – alongside 3,500 tonnes of cranberry sauce, almost half of which was enjoyed at Christmas.

Meanwhile UK consumers spent £45 million on nearly 19 million Christmas puddings and £132 million on 98 million packs of mince pies last year.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said:

"Our farmers and food producers work hard all year round to keep the nation fed – but especially in the run up to Christmas to meet the demand for their top-quality, high-welfare, seasonal produce.

"Gathering friends and family round the table to share great food is one of the best things about Christmas, but it’s so important to remember where it all comes from.This year, I invite everyone to raise a glass to the dedicated farmers and food producers who fill our plates at Christmas."

Jim Bligh, Director of Corporate Affairs and Packaging at the Food and Drink Federation, said:

"Food and drink manufacturers are working hard during the festive period and play a crucial role in producing and supplying food and drink so that households can enjoy their Christmas meals with friends and family.

"The food and drink industry has many unsung heroes that will be helping to provide the much-loved food we eat at Christmas time, and I wish them all a very Happy Christmas."


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