The foundations have been laid to stamp out food fraud and give power back to the consumer with the unveiling of plans to build the country’s first national centre dedicated to food and drink transparency.
Food provenance pioneer, Happerley, revealed its plans to create a ground-breaking independent food and leisure destination as an epicentre of food transparency in England.
Situated in the former BhS premises at Lock 29 in Castle Quay, Banbury, Happerley England will give farmers, suppliers and producers a platform to champion their ‘Gold Standard’ produce, a marque accorded only to food and drink producers able to name the exact sources of their core ingredients back to the primary producers.
Developed in the context of the demand for transparency in the food industry, Happerley England will offer an insight into the best English food and drink production and producers.
Whether it’s beef, cheese, coffee or bread, every core ingredient in Happerley England products will be instantly traceable back to the farms (or fishing boats) of its origin.
The plans were announced at a launch event at the farm where it all began for Happerley’s founder and CEO, farmer Matthew Rymer.
He said: “Happerley England is a focus, a celebration and a centre for the very finest food and drinks that have complete provenance. In too many cases the consumer is being misled. To my mind, it should be a basic right and expectation for the consumer to know where the food and drink they’ve purchased has come from.
“The reality of food production is being smoke-screened. You’d be surprised how many brands do not want to identify their supply chain. Happerley England stands for delivering honesty and communicating that on behalf of everyone. It’s a beacon of transparency.”
The event was hosted by TV presenter and Cotswold farmer Adam Henson, who unveiled the plans alongside a panel of stakeholders and representatives.
He said: “This was a grassroots idea from a farmer who’s got incredible vision and the momentum has gained a very fast pace to get to where it is today. This is a legacy for Happerley – even if a business can’t turn Happerley Transparent straight away, it stimulates conversation and that is so important.”
Cllr Tony Ilott from Cherwell District Council, said: “It’s great to have Banbury as the epicentre of this food revolution. Happerley England will be the star attraction of Banbury. This is Happerley’s launchpad and we’re going to do all we can to support them.”
Qing Lin, CEO of Join In China, a Chinese food and drink agency, was on the discussion panel and explained how Happerley England will become a procurement requirement for food and drink exports to the Chinese market, securing British advantage in this fast growing market post-Brexit.
The event also saw NFU Mutual commit to a high profile long-term partnership with Happerley, while former England rugby captain and Non-executive Director of Creed Foodservice, Phil Vickery MBE DL, announced it will champion transparency in the food service wholesale sector and will endeavour to deliver Happerley Transparency across its supply chain wherever possible.
The Happerley England Tour kicked off at the end of the event when the Happerley taxi was waved off by a crowd of more than 100 farmers, suppliers, producers and passionate foodies as it embarks on visiting every English county to celebrate and savour each region’s finest produce to showcase at Happerley England.