British Food Fortnight supporting Harvest Festivals

Every year for harvest festival hundreds of children and supporters from the world of food and farming gather in churches up and down the land with boxes packed with home-grown produce.  It’s our way of giving thanks for the bounty of food from the land.  And it’s a tradition that brings communities together with the church playing a central role.

Love British Food organised a special National Harvest Service with Westminster Abbey in 2013, attended by hundreds of children and a host of supporters from the world of food and farming to celebrate the British food and harvest and welcome the Love British Food Harvest Torch.  Each year since then the Harvest Torch has visited different areas of the country from Birmingham, Bristol Lincoln to Pembrokeshire and this year will visit Chelmsford Cathedral on 29th-30th September and then on to Ely Cathedral for 12th-14th October.

British Food Fortnight which this year runs from 22 Sept -7 Oct coincides with the celebration of the National Harvest Festival as a prominent part of their calendar of events.  The Co-op is again playing a big part in the Fortnight and will be on hand to support local harvest festivals in any way they can.

The team behind British Food Fortnight pulled together the following tips for churches to make harvest time celebrations even bigger:

  • Remember everyone in your community can play a part so reach out to the following: social groups, your local Co-op, schools, clubs (WI, Guides and Scouts etc.), food producers, local food suppliers and local agricultural organisations (NFU, Young Farmers, etc.)
  • Start planning early.  Work with local schools to get a programme of activity together.  This could involve music and singing, art or cookery (using ingredients from local producers).  Potato painting and printing is also very popular, also cream teas, harvest supper, etc.
  • Get in touch with local farms, food producers and manufacturers in your region and gauge how much involvement they can give. Many farms will supply fresh fruit and vegetables to form the basis of a large display.
  • Many communities organise food festivals during the summer months.  Approach organisers of these events and discuss how they can get involved.
  • Reach out to your local radio stations and papers for publicity.

For information on the National Harvest Service and the Harvest Torch Festival visit

What resources are available?

Promotional materials including bunting and posters are available at There is also a ‘What’s Happening’ map where you can find foodie events taking place near you.  If you would like us to add your event, please email the details to

Where can we find out more?

To find lots more ideas, download promotional material and details of what’s happening near you, visit or email To be the first to hear the news, follow us on Twitter @LoveBritishFood, #LoveBritishFood, #BuyBritishFood

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Joe Isted

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