Now in its 20th year, the campaign encourages people to seek out British food and drink, which is now more important than ever.
Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC who runs the Sussex Food & Drink Awards, said: “The covid pandemic has made the past eighteen months one of the toughest times in living history for food and drink businesses in Britain.
“When pubs, cafes and restaurants were forced to close, they lost their business and so did the many food and drink producers that sell their produce to them, but Sussex businesses rose to the challenge with creativity and generosity of spirit. So many came up with ingenious ideas to keep their staff employed, to support the vulnerable in their local communities and to find new ways to get their products and services to market.
“Now as recovery comes slowly forward and business returns to a new normality, we urge people to use British Food Fortnight as an excuse to visit your local farm shop and try out wines, beers, cheeses, meat, baked goods, confectionary and all the other delicious, food and drink that is made, reared and caught right here in Sussex and the South Downs.”
Sussex is well known for its unique and quirky artisan manufactured products, from cheese makers to English sparkling wine.
And at regional co-operative stores across the south chocolate, eggs and cakes are the most popular product from Sussex sold.
In Southern Co-op’s convenience stores, the three top selling product ranges from Sussex producers are Lorama Foods in Bosham which produce a range of cakes and other treats, Montezuma’s Chocolates in Chichester, and Langmeads Of Flansham which sells Rookery Farm organic free range eggs.
Matt Elliott, retail buying and services manager at Southern Co-op who looks after its Local Flavours range, said: “There were some highs and lows in 2020 for our local producers but overall sales of our Local Flavours range remain strong thanks to continued customer support.
“Through our dedicated range, we celebrate local food and drink from around 200 regional suppliers including many in Sussex. Now is the perfect time to focus on the future so let’s use this year’s British Food Fortnight to continue supporting these local businesses and also try some of the incredible tastes available.”
For more information visit sussexfoodanddrink.org or www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/food/local-flavours/For British Food Fortnight lovebritishfood.co.uk/british-food-fortnight-2021