Dr Dan Poulter MP

In Touch Community News

Like many of you I feel blessed to live in Suffolk. I always do my best to support local businesses, especially our farmers and food producers. Most of you are aware, that as well as being your MP, I am a doctor working in the NHS and, not long ago, I wrote about the perils of faddy and extreme diets. Buying locally produced fresh, seasonal food is absolutely vital for our health and it is also far better for our environment if we buy local and keep our food miles down wherever possible.

I often visit our local farmers and farm shops, and I am always impressed by the high quality of local produce, by our high animal welfare standards and by the high standards of traceability from farm to fork of Suffolk produced food and drink. However, many of us lead busy lives, and it is often necessary to do our shopping online as we keep up with the demands of juggling work and family. There are also many people who struggle with mobility issues and other health concerns who find online shopping an essential lifeline.

I am sure that most people, whatever their shopping habits, always hope to find ways to support local producers where they can. That is why I have called on all of the big supermarkets to adopt a simple new system to make it much easier for online shoppers to buy British.

At the end of August, I helped to co-ordinate a letter from over 100 MPs that went out to the big supermarket companies urging them to support a Buy British Campaign. We are asking supermarkets to highlight the very best of British produce by incorporating a ‘Buy British’ section on their online shopping pages. The simple addition of a tab that collates produce from farmers across the UK will help customers shop locally quickly and easily, with the click of a mouse.

Many of our shops and supermarkets already label British made and farmed products, The addition of a ‘Buy British’ button is simply providing the online shopper with the same ability to better identify homegrown produce as is already enjoyed by those attending a shop in person. A ‘Buy British’ button could encourage customers to eat seasonally and healthily and support their local farmers at the same time.

I have long championed the work of Suffolk’s farmers in improving our food security, supporting a strong local economy and preserving and protecting the environment. I know the people of Suffolk want to back our local farmers and food producers. We all want to understand more about where our food comes from and how it is produced. This simple change on supermarket webpages will help to ensure home grown food is easily identifiable and that in the future we can all play our part in backing British farmers and food producers. 

I’m pleased to have played a key role in co-ordinating this important initiative. I talk to farmers in Suffolk regularly, and they tell me time and again the best way we can support them is to simply, ‘buy British’. Ensuring we do this is a win-win situation, we protect our health, Suffolk’s economy and our environment.

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