Thursday, 13 October 2011

National Food Weeks

This week it is apparently National Curry Week, Chocolate Week and British Egg Week.

There has been a proliferation of National Food Weeks in the UK (and globally) over the past ten years or so. These promotional or awareness weeks are initiated by corporate concerns, government bodies and pressure groups. They are usually promoted uncritically by the media. No wonder National Food Weeks are so popular - it’s free advertising!

In addition, there are any number of food promotion days (e.g., Yorkshire Pudding Day falls on 5th Feb 2012) that are too numerous to record here.

There are also health awareness weeks most weeks, highlighting medical conditions that are often food-related (e.g., Food Allergies and Intolerances: 23-28 Jan 2012). The medical conditions rising in incidence the most alarmingly, such as diabetes, are linked to overeating and obesity (National Childhood Obesity Week: 4-12 July 2011).

If you want to start your own awareness week, you better get in quick as there are not many weeks left free (in fact, most weeks are double-booked!). The more they stack up, the more ineffectual they are going to become.

This week I cooked curry, scrambled eggs and ate chocolate (not all at the same time), but I refuse to believe that it had anything to do with National Food Weeks.

Below I list some of the main promotional weeks in the UK with dates and the names of the organizations behind them.

National Farmhouse Breakfast Week (22-28 Jan 2012) is a government promotion of cereal farming by the Cereals Division of AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board).

Bramley Apple Week (5-12 Feb 2012) is bought to you by The Bramley Campaign.

National Chip Week (21-27 Feb 2011) is an initiative from the British Potato Council.

Fairtrade Fortnight (28 Feb - 13 March 2011) is Fairtrade organized.

British Pie Week (7-13 March 2011) is bought to you by Jus-Rol Pastry, a division of General Mills Berwick Ltd.

Bacon Connoisseurs Week (21-27 March 2011) is a Red Tractor initiative - a government agricultural promotion.

British Sandwich Week (15-21 May 2011) is organized by The British Sandwich Association and supported by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Ginsters, Greggs, Prêt a Manger etc.

National Vegetarian Week (23-29 May 2011) is organized by The Vegetarian Society of the UK and supported by Cauldron Foods.

British Food Fortnight and Welsh Food Fortnight (17 Sept - 2 Oct 2011) is sponsored by Aramark.

British Cheese Week (24 Sept - 2 Oct 2011) is organized by The British Cheese Board and sponsored by Ryvita. Events include The Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff Castle.

National Cask Ale Week (1–9 Oct 2011) is a brewing industry initiative.

Chocolate Week (10-16 Oct 2011) is sponsored by Hotel Chocolat, Thornton’s, Divine Chocolate and others.

British Egg Week (10-16 Oct 2011) is organized in association with British Lion Eggs (the egg marketing board).

National Curry Week (9-15 Oct 2011) is supported by ASDA, Cobra Lager and Pataks.

British Sausage Week (31 Oct -6 Nov 2011) is an initiative of The British Sausage Appreciation Society (supported by several commercial sponsers).

National Taste of Game Fortnight (5-19 Nov 2011) is organized by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

National Eating Out Week (20-26 Nov 2011) appears to be a spin off from National Curry Week, supported by Indian restaurants among others.

Of course, being a food writer, I am as guilty of passing on National Food Week marketing as the next blogger. Sometimes it just can’t be resisted.

Here’s a previous post on British Pie Week:

For a complete list of US National Food Holidays see:

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