Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

Whether roasted, fresh, juiced or pickled, it appears Waitrose customers can't get enough of the humble beetroot as sales at the supermarket are rocketing. The versatile root vegetable is being used in everything from home-made juice to vegetable cakes and Waitrose is seeing sales of its Waitrose Duchy Organic Beetroot soar by 164% compared to last year. It has now also introduced a new spiralised beetroot to meet demand.

With food bloggers and chefs always looking for new ways to eat it, Waitrose shoppers have also been reaching for an array of more unusual beetroot products to get their fix. Sales of Waitrose Sweetfire Beetroot, a sweet and spicy chilli beetroot, are up 23% and Waitrose World Deli Beetroot and Sour Cherries Slaw is up 51%.

And new to the grocer's assortment is its Spiralised Beetroot. Infused with lemon, mint and chilli, it's perfect for brightening up a salad, as a light summer snack when combined with feta and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, or to make a delicious alternative topping for a burger.

For those looking to include more beetroot in their diet, Waitrose has a range of even more surprising beetroot infused food and drink products than ever before, including; the Waitrose Apple, Carrot and Beetroot Yogurt, Waitrose 1 Beetroot, Nigella and Three Seed Oat Biscuits, Waitrose Apple, Beetroot & Blackcurrant Juice, Waitrose Love Life Frozen Ruby Smoothie Mix containing beetroot and Teapigs Up Beet Energy Tea.

Another top seller is the new Waitrose World Deli Roasted Beetroot Crush, crushed roasted beetroot with feta and pumpkin seeds, which is one of the top selling lines in the new World Deli range.

Dr Emma Williams, Waitrose Senior Nutritionist says, “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy, balanced diet, and we've seen they are enjoying beetroot in all its forms. Sales of beetroot are rising as customers look to eat more vegetables in as many different ways as possible.

"Studies* have shown that beetroot juice can increase distance runners' time by 16 per cent, which is great news for those wanting to exercise for longer and could suggest a reason behind the spike in sales. Being naturally rich in folate and a good source of potassium, beetroot is the perfect option for adding flavour and colour to any dish, whether sweet or savoury.”

It's been Britain's favourite cheese for more than 900 years but now shoppers have made history by creating the UK's first ever commercially produced bespoke cheddar.

The move came after Tesco called on customers and a leading British cheese producer, Parkham Farms, to help create a Cheddar cheese to delight and satisfy the palates of today's cheese lovers.

After researching cheese flavour profiles and reviewing cheese-making techniques with the West Country cheesemaker, the retailer has come up with what it believes is the best tasting mature and extra mature own brand Cheddar cheese in the UK.

For centuries milder tasting cheddar was the most popular variety in the UK but recently the stronger mature and extra mature varieties have taken over as shoppers' favourites.

Taste trials with more than 150 customers revealed what they now look for in a Cheddar cheese:

  • Mature- a more rounded, deeper flavour with a slight sweetness and a creamier taste
  • Extra Mature- a greater burst of flavour but with a slight sweetness and creamy taste
Tesco cheese expert Kay Legge who oversaw the project said: “The British palate is changing and in the last five years we've seen a dramatic shift from mild to stronger tasting Cheddar as the UK's favourite cheese.

“For over 50 years spicier foods have become more common in our diets, and as our taste buds have acclimatised to the flavours, we see that customers now have a hankering for a deeper and more complex taste profile for their cheese.

“Involving some of our customers in the cheese-making process has been really helpful. They obviously have great taste – as both varieties have won gold medals at two major cheese events and demand has continued to soar.”

Tesco's Extra Mature Cheddar won Gold at the British Cheese Awards in June 2017 and Silver at the International Cheese Awards held at the Nantwich Show this week while the Tesco Mature Cheddar won Gold at the Devon County Show, in May 2017.

Since the new cheeses launched last autumn demand for Tesco's Extra Mature has rocketed by 40 per cent while Tesco Mature has grown by six per cent.

According to retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, demand across the UK market in the last five years for mild and medium strength cheddar has fallen by five per cent while sales of mature and extra mature have grown by 11 per cent.

The Mature and Extra Mature Cheddars are made by Parkham Farm, on the North Devon coast, where the Willis family have over 30 years of cheddar-making experience.

The 1500-acre Parkham Farm has a fine heritage; a close-knit family business specialising in fine cheeses made from milk produced on the farm itself, using traditional creamery methods.

As the festival season approaches, Waitrose will be holding a Summer Festival of its own from 18th-20th August at Leckford Estate in Hampshire, the supermarket's farm. While enjoying food, drink, music and a variety of activities, visitors will also be able to learn about the 4,000-acre Leckford Estate. The estate grows and produces a wide range of items for Waitrose, including milk, mushrooms, fruit, flour, rapeseed oil and grapes for the supermarket's own Leckford Estate sparkling English wine.

As well as hosting the first Waitrose Summer Festival, the supermarket will also be setting up stall at popular festivals throughout the summer, bringing an array of delicious food and drink to festival goers; including Camp Bestival - 27th to 30th July and The Big Feastival 25th to 27th August (Waitrose also attended Cornbury Festival last weekend).

Rupert Ellwood, Head of Marketing, Waitrose, said : “We are delighted to be hosting the Waitrose Festival, bringing everything that we're famous for into one place. From the very best food, to our knowledgeable Partners and the passion of our producers, we wanted to show customers what it is that makes Waitrose special. We are proud supporters of British farming and our farm at Leckford Estate is the perfect venue to showcase this.

We also wanted to share a taste of Waitrose with other festival goers who may not have shopped with us before by setting up camp for the first time at a few of this year's popular summer festivals. It's a great opportunity to share our love of good food and drink and make Waitrose the best destination for summer eating."

Waitrose Summer Festival

Showcasing British produce, the Waitrose Summer Festival will bring together Waitrose producers, celebrity chefs and experts to showcase the very best food and drink.  Open to the public, the festival will feature a food and drink village with an array of pop-ups, including Good Food Guide recommended restaurants and foodie favourites such as sushi, stonebaked pizza and artisan cheese. Visitors will also be offered the chance to sample some of Heston Blumenthal's summer sizzlers in a Heston from Waitrose pub-style pop-up.

The Waitrose Summer Festival will play host to a number of special guests including Martha Collison, Tom and Henry Herbert, Ching-He Huang and previous MasterChef winner Dhruv Baker. Guests can attend workshops, and food demonstrations, see seasonal recipes being created, and find out about the latest food trends. More top names from the food and health industry will be announced in due course.

There will also be tours of the farm with the opportunity to learn about where Waitrose produce comes from and how it's grown.  Guests can also enjoy a range of delicious food and drink from Waitrose producers too, who will be on hand, ready to share their expertise and knowledge, along with tastings of their delicious food and drink.

Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.

This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community. Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated - whether on developing their business or on community projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.

Forty-three of Waitrose's own-label tea products are already Fairtrade certified with the exception of its three Earl Grey tea lines, which will complete the conversion in October.

Rupert Thomas, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said:

“We're proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it.

“We've found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment - it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.”

Emma Mullins, Tea Supply Chain Manager at Fairtrade Foundation, said:

“This move means all Waitrose's own label black and green tea will be 100% Fairtrade. This is fantastic news that will help improve the lives of some of the poorest tea farmers in China, who have previously invested their Fairtrade Premium in schools, sanitation, and tea quality and productivity projects, benefiting farmers and the wider community.

“Congratulations to Waitrose for taking another vital step in making their supply chains sustainable and making a great cup of tea even greater.”

The retailer currently stocks 250 Fairtrade-certified products. 100% of its own-label speciality sugars are certified Fairtrade, along with the majority of its own-label block chocolate, including its Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Bar with Coconut, which was recently awarded the much-coveted Gold award in the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards. Waitrose was also the first retailer to switch 100% of its bananas to Fairtrade in 2007.

Waitrose first committed to the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007 and both work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models.

Apricot lovers are in for the sweetest of summers this year, after Tesco announced it expects a record amount of English-grown apricots to be available in its stores over the summer season.

Apricots flourish in continental climates with cold winters,  but without spring frosts. So traditionally they have grown in countries like Spain, France, Morocco, Turkey and Iran.

Tesco were the first UK retailer to start selling English grown apricots and started working on a production partnership with one of the UK's largest stone fruit producers from Kent back in 2010.

With the first of the season's English apricots about to hit Tesco stores this week, there's great news with an incredible 180 tonnes expected to be picked over the summer- the largest amount ever grown in the UK.

Tesco stone fruit buyer Karen Bee said:

“Apricots are fast becoming one of the summer fruits of choice across the UK. Bursting with flavour, our English apricots are really sweet, have a beautiful orange blush and are firm yet juicy – everything that a classic apricot should be.

“The English variety are every bit as good as imported apricots and joins the ranks of British strawberries, cherries, apples and pears , as some of the best quality and tasting fruit grown in the world.

“The arrival of great quality English apricots over the last few years has helped  to invigorate the demand for this stone fruit.”

In the last year UK demand for apricots has rocketed by an unprecedented 75 per cent, making it one of Britain's most in demand fruits.

Apricot trees still need a lot of sunshine and as a result all the production at the moment is in the southern counties, with growers based either in Kent or the Isle of Wight.

Until the late noughties English apricot production was not thought possible because of our cooler temperatures.

But the arrival on the market of apricot cultivars or tree hybrids bred especially for climates like the UK's, that would flower later in the spring, have made English apricot production possible.

Nigel Bardsley, of Bardsley Farms in Kent, a partner supplier to Tesco and the UK's largest apricot grower said:

“This year we have had pretty much perfect growing conditions with a cool winter needed to allow the trees to rest, a warm spring and lots of summer sunshine with a bit of rain in between.”

The number of UK producers commercially growing apricots has doubled in recent years to eight.

Looking for the next big thing? Whether buying for retail, foodservice or wholesale; there is no better place to discover what will be shaping the fine food industry than at Speciality & Fine Food Fair.

The Fair's new Discovery Zone is a real opportunity to uncover what new brands and trends are emerging. This is a dedicated area for up and coming food and drink businesses which have been trading in the UK for less than 36 months.

Many new products being showcased in the zone this year are focused on health. It's not just about the ingredients that are in them but what's not too; with many claiming to have no added sugar, no gluten and no artificial flavours and colours. Natural food and drink is on trend too, along with a penchant for all things nutty and products featuring flavours from around the globe.

Kara Bowen, Event Manager, said: "Buyers and decision makers looking for the latest fine food and drink need look no further than Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017. For those looking for innovative trends and brands breaking through, the new Discovery Zone is a must see. From what we are seeing so far, health and wellbeing is heavily influencing the new products being launched this year but luxury, both in terms of ingredients and packaging, is just as important."

City of Wolverhampton’s inaugural Festival of Food and Drink has been hailed a huge success by organisers – and will return next year on July 7 and 8.

More than 18,500 people attended the event in the heart of the city centre on Saturday and Sunday after snapping up free tickets.

Families revelled in the sunshine off Wulfruna Street, with a wide range of food and drink available alongside live music, an open-air cinema, Champagne/Prosecco bar, and traditional fairground games across both days.

Organiser William Power of Street Banquet and Director of E11EVEN GROUP, said: “It was a great event. We almost doubled our anticipated attendance and I am absolutely over the moon with its success.

“The way the city embraced the festival is astonishing and I would like to personally thank City of Wolverhampton Council for all of their support.

“It shows the ambition of the council for the city and to attract people to the city. No one I have worked with before in their first festival year has ever got close to these numbers.

“The Wolverhampton businesses seized the opportunity to work with national street food vendors; the best street food was available - and will be again next year. Put the date in your diaries now.”

Visitor comments included ‘it was family friendly, multi-cultural, and there was a fabulous choice of authentic food at reasonable prices’, ‘this event had a really good feel about it, like being at Notting Hill Carnival’, and ‘I was blown away, we need more events like this - it’s fabulous’.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “I am delighted the flagship event of our Visit the City of Wolverhampton programme has been so successful.

“It is another example of Wolverhampton putting itself on the map and it also illustrates why we were recently named as one of the top three UK cities to raise a family.”

Around 1,000 visitors chose to pay on the gate at the festival, which resulted in £1,000 going to the chosen charities of Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Elias Mattu, and the other half to event costs.

Mayor Mattu said: “I’m tremendously proud of holding our first festival of food and drink which has bought so many new visitors to the city and given residents an opportunity to have a fabulous family day out.

“I’d like to thank the promoter for his kind donation and for everyone involved in making the weekend an occasion to remember.”

Birmingham’s premier independent steak restaurant, Anderson's Bar & Grill, has won ‘Best Steak House’ in the 2017 Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards. The awards ceremony took place on Monday 26th June at Edgbaston Stadium

Up against some big names including Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Fiesta Del Asado, Anderson’s Bar and Grill’s longstanding reputation as one of Birmingham’s best independent steak houses offering 100% British reared, quality, rare breed beef coupled with their knowledgeable team, proved to be a cut above the rest.

“We take great pride in our steak offering, from the quality of our beef to the knowledge our staff deliver to help inform our diners’ choices, so to win this award for the first time is a great boost for our team! Continuing to source and make great quality, rare breed British beef accessible to our diners requires a great deal of time, knowledge and work but it’s worthy cause when it means getting our diners familiar with these near forgotten breeds.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to our fantastic team who thoroughly deserve this award and, of course, our loyal diners for their votes and continued support over the years.” Said Tony Cox, Operations Director.

This award is Anderson’s third restaurant award in 3 years, having previously won ‘Best Restaurant’ in The Food Awards England in 2015 and 2016.

Summer has arrived and with it, a new in-vogue culinary delight. It has been taking London and major cities by storm, and we're pleased to announce its arrival at The Bell Inn, New Forest.

Every Thursday, for lunch or dinner, throughout July and August, the Inn will offer a 'Burger or Lobster' menu. A finger-licking 3-course treat featuring a starter, a choice of either a gourmet Wagyu 10oz beef burger or half a fresh lobster and to finish a dessert. The Bell Inn's twist on this 'surf & turf' is a summer dining experience not to be missed!

Owner, Robert Crosthwaite Eyre said, “This is a real treat for burger and lobster fans. We've created our own take on this delicious combination by using Wagyu beef renowned for its superior flavour qualities, from herds reared on beer and massaged to create this juicy, melt-in-the-mouth burger. Or, you can choose the luxury of half a fresh lobster, cooked 3 ways to your liking. It's a difficult choice, which makes it a hugely versatile option for families, friends or couples to share and enjoy this summer, and at great value. Of course, it tastes even better when washed down with a crisp glass of fizz or a local ale!”

As the popularity of chillies in the UK continues to soar, perfect spring growing conditions have brought forward the start of the UK's chilli pepper season by five weeks.

Last year Brits bought an estimated 230 million chilli peppers - a 50 per cent increase in demand since 2011.

But it's the super-hot varieties that are creating the greatest excitement with chilli pepper fans.

Last year Tesco saw sales for super-hot chillies rocket by 130 per cent, largely down to the popularity of the world's hottest commercially grown chilli pepper, the Carolina Reaper, which was available for the first time exclusively at the supermarket's stores across the UK last summer.

The perfect spring growing conditions means there will be twice as many of the notorious Bedfordshire grown Carolina Reaper variety this year.

Tesco chilli pepper buyer Phoebe Burgess said:

“The extension to the British chilli season means we will have a lot more of the legendary Carolina Reaper available for customers this summer.

“We know that a growing number of customers really love to cook with hot chillies and the Carolina Reaper has a rich fruity flavour with a slightly sweet taste so a tiny sliver could transform everyday favourite dishes.”

The tiny chilli peppers really pack a punch – and measuring 2.2 million Scoville Units they are 400 times hotter than a jalapeno.

They are exclusively grown by Bedfordshire farmer Salvatore Genovese who is the UK's largest chilli pepper grower.

He started growing chilli peppers 15 years ago after he took over his parents' cucumber business and now grows about one million, or 15 tonnes of chillies each week for the UK market.

Salvatore said:

“This year we've had really good levels of light and some great weather which has helped push the season forward.

“I've also planted a lot more of the Carolina Reaper because the high demand last summer took us by surprise. That, together with the earlier start to the season, means we will have nearly twice as many as last year.”

Other chilli peppers grown by Salv that are stocked by Tesco include the previously hottest UK grown variety, the  Komodo Dragon, as well as the Scotch Bonnet and Habanero in red, green, chocolate and yellow; Flavia, Purple Valentina; Cayenne; Fresno in yellow, green, red and orange and his own favourite the Serenade.

At the first hint of sunshine, Brits love nothing more than to head outdoors to dine al fresco style and a new study has found that for over two-thirds (65%), a picnic is the perfect way to be romantic with their partner, combining food and drink with canoodling in the great outdoors.

The study has found that as well as serving up delicious sandwiches and snacks, a traditional picnic also dishes up a big slice of nostalgia with 87% of Brits confessing that picnics bring happy memories flooding back. And as well as filling their bellies, a further 83% say a picnic treat also fills them with happiness with two-thirds (65%) picking a picnic as one of their favourite things to do.

The research*, commissioned by convenience retailer Nisa also reveals when it comes to picnic spots, over a fifth (21%) pick a perfect spot by a river or lake as the ideal place. But for 20% of Brits the beach is where it’s at followed by the local park (14%) or local beauty spot (13%). One in 10 don’t feel the need to venture beyond their own back yard – picnicking in the privacy of their own gardens.

The study, commissioned to coincide with National Picnic Week (16-25 June), looks into our picnicking habits and reveals 29% of Brits enjoy spending time with family and friends as the best thing about a traditional picnic followed by eating outside (25%), the scenery (14%), and visiting different locations (9%). 8 per cent think a picnic represents the perfect cheap lunch and 6% use it as an opportunity to get away from it all and de-stress.

The research, highlights the majority of Brits (88%) see a picnic as a great British tradition with nine out of ten (92%) believing it to be an activity that can be enjoyed as a family. A further 70% would go on picnics more regularly if they could with 80% seeing them as a perfect way to see different parts of the country.  A plucky third (37%) would picnic whatever the weather and 42% are proud owners of a traditional picnic basket with all the kit.

Commenting on the research, Alex Rimmer of Nisa commented: “Our research highlights proves that Brits love nothing more than packing up a picnic and heading for the great outdoors. It’s great to see that such a classic family tradition is alive and well and still a popular pastime with many families. In this age of technology when lots of youngsters are seemingly glued to their tablets and games consoles it’s great to see that three-quarters of parents say their children love to go for a picnic.

“Nothing can quite beat that feeling of tucking into a mouth-watering selection of sandwiches, savouries, fresh salads and sweet treats in a scenic location with our nearest and dearest. Just don’t forget the picnic blanket!”

Over 1.8 million people in the West Midlands (39%) plan to get out into the great outdoors for a picnic this summer but al fresco dining doesn’t come without worry for some. That’s according to a snapshot survey from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which shows that a quarter of people in the West Midlands (25%) are concerned about picnic food hygiene.

With more than one million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK and cases of food poisoning from Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella rising in the summer months, they are right to be concerned. The FSA's snapshot survey showed that West Midlands picnickers could be putting themselves at risk by leaving their food out for longer than the recommended two hours (10%), carrying food to picnics in containers such as plastic bags and picnic baskets (37%), rather than the recommended cool boxes; and, putting picnic leftovers back in the fridge (29%) or using them for a meal the next day (25%), regardless of how long they have been left out.

To help everyone enjoy their summer picnics without worry the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has provided these easy tips to keep your family safe:

  1. Clean up first - Rinse fresh fruits (including those with rinds) and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cool box.
  2. Keep cold food cold – place cold food in a cool box with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 5 °C or below to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Organise your cool box – pack drinks in one cool box and perishable foods in another. If using freezer packs (frozen drinks work well for this purpose), distribute them throughout the box – not all at the bottom!
  4. Keep your cool box closed – once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cool box is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold for longer.
  5. Pack away your picnic – once you’ve served it, dishes should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if it’s very hot outside. After this, the risk of bacteria increases and it becomes unsafe to eat, so best to throw it away when you get home. Pack away food so that your guests are not tempted to nibble later. To waste less, pre-plan portion sizes according to the size of your party and only pack what you need.

A new poll has revealed most Brits see fresh fruit as the answer to cutting added sugars out of their diet, a move which has been fully supported by the UK’s leading oral health charity.

The Oral Health Foundation study aimed to understand the nation’s attitudes and behaviours towards sugar, and found nearly six in ten (58%) believe fresh fruit is the most effective way to reduce their cravings for confectionery and other foods and drinks which are high in added sugar.

Excessive sugar consumption is the major cause of tooth decay, which effects almost one in three adults (31%) and nearly half of all 15-year-olds (46%), making it the UK’s most common chronic disease.

The charity believes there is now a greater understanding about the differences between natural sugars and added sugars, which is leading to people making smarter choices about the kind of foods they limit.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, thinks the mix between becoming a more health-conscious population and investment in nutritional campaigns, has created a more ‘food-wise’ nation.

Dr Carter said: “We have certainly seen a shift in people’s attitudes towards their diet and how it connects with their overall lifestyle. As a nation, we are more invested in our health than ever before, which has led to a greater focus on learning more about healthier diets, and better choices when it comes to filtering out ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sugars.

“Over the last decade we have also seen greater investment in government campaigns like NHS Healthy Choices and the traffic light food labelling policy – both of which have been effective in making it easier to understand what goes into our foods.”

The word ‘sugar’ is used to describe both added sugar, and naturally-occurring sugar such as fructose in fruit and lactose in milk.

Added sugars, seen in foods like confectionery and in fizzy drinks, always come with excessive calories and are low in vitamins and minerals. As Dr Carter explains, it is the make-up of these nutrients which is the difference between feeling full and hungry.

“Natural sugars, such as the ones in milk and fresh fruit, act differently in the body. As they are often accompanied by proteins, fibres and water, which will absorb at a slower rate, make you feel fuller for longer and mean you are unlikely to crave more sweets,” added Dr Carter.

“Fresh fruit comes with a stigma of being costly compared with sugary alternatives but for nutritional value it’s one of the best foods we can purchase. Over many years we have seen confectionery manufacturers continually decrease the size of their products while increasing their prices, however, fresh fruit often remains the same size throughout the season and costs remain relatively stable. Making you feel fuller for longer, you will also need to buy less of it than foods packed with redundant added sugars.

“There is a slight cautionary warning that while it’s healthier for our body, replacing confectionary with fresh fruit, still has the potential to damage your teeth. Snacking on fruit throughout the day, particularly between meals, will force our teeth to be under constant attack as the acid in sugar reacts with the bacteria in the enamel that coats our teeth.

“Just like with any food, you should still monitor portion sizes. Three servings of fresh fruit per day, during mealtimes, is good amount for most healthy children and adults.  It’s also important to limit consumption of all dried fruit, such as raisins, as they are very sticky and remain in contact with teeth for longer causing some real damage to your teeth.”

Sushi was born over 2,000 years ago when rice culture came to Japan from Southeast Asia and it has evolved ever since. Historically, salmon in Japanese cuisine was used for grilling and kirimi, a lightly salted and dried fish dish.

Today, salmon is one of the most popular choices for sushi and it's down to the Norwegians paying a visit to Japan with fresh salmon in their suitcases over 30 years ago. The Norwegians had been visiting Japan since the 1970s to talk about trading mackerel, herring and salmon, but in 1985 a seafood delegation led by Fisheries Minister Thor Listau took close to 20 people representing Norwegian seafood exporters, government and organisations on a visit to Japan to scope out export opportunities.

In their luggage, they brought fresh salmon. This was the start of what was to be called 'Project Japan', introducing Japanese chefs to the quality and safety of Norwegian salmon for raw use in sushi.

The preferred fish for sushi and sashimi used to be tuna and sea bream, thanks to their fatty flesh and clean flavour. The Japanese considered the Pacific salmon landed by Japanese fishermen dangerous to consume raw because the wild fish were exposed to parasites. They were also considered too lean for sushi. So salmon was originally used in grilling and kirimi, a lightly salted and dried fish dish.

Project Japan had a profound effect on the culinary habits of Japanese who were unfamiliar with eating salmon in its raw state. 15-years into the project and the demand for raw consumption started to rise. By 1995, Atlantic salmon was widely accepted as a raw sushi fish and the Norwegians managed to increase exports of salmon to Japan by 250%. Once salmon became a sushi staple in Japan, the rest of the world followed suit.

Tesco has launched the latest in its series of 'Food Love Stories' adverts to highlight its ongoing efforts to tackle food waste.

For the first time, the 'Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco' campaign showcases Community Food Connection, the retailer's surplus food redistribution scheme, and Bo'ness Academy, one of 5,000 charities that benefit from the scheme across the UK.

Bo'ness Academy receives surplus food each week from the Tesco Bo'ness store, and turns it into wholesome homemade snacks and cakes for their on-site community café, providing an opportunity for the school children at the Academy to learn new cooking skills, and for the school to give back to the local community. Many of the visitors to the café each week are retired, and it gives them the opportunity to socialise and enjoy good food and company.

Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer at Tesco said:

“'Food Love Stories' is all about how passion for good food can bring people together. So we're delighted that our new campaign showcases the work of the pupils and teachers at Bo'ness Academy, who turn surplus food from Tesco into delicious food for their local community.

“By the end of the year, no food fit for human consumption will go to waste from our UK stores. Bo'ness Academy is just one of over 5,000 local organisations across the UK benefiting from working with our Community Food Connection programme to use surplus food.”

FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell, said:

“It's fantastic that Tesco's new 'Food Love Stories' advert will go out on primetime national TV and help raise the profile of surplus food. There's no reason at all for good quality, in date food to be thrown away when it could go to a charity who needs it, and the fantastic community café at Bo'ness shows just what a difference that food can make.”

The launch of the advert comes as the Community Food Connection programme reaches a new milestone of 10 million meals of surplus food donated to local charities and community groups right across the UK. The scheme, run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, enables Tesco stores to donate unsold food to feed people in need through a technology platform developed by Irish Social Enterprise, FoodCloud.

The scheme is currently live in over 1,700 stores, and will be rolled out to all Tesco stores by the end of this year.

The advert is the latest in Tesco's ongoing Food Love Stories campaign, which introduces a new food love story each month to demonstrate the special role food plays in people's lives. The advert will air on TV from tonight, with spots on Emmerdale, Gogglesprogs, Blacklist and The Voice Kids and will feature an original recipe from the charity; 'Bo'ness Academy Nothing Wasted Banana Bread'. The recipe was developed by the school, following their experiences cooking with surplus food from Tesco.

Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is set to exhibit at one the hippest foodie festivals in London, Taste of London. The flagship event kicks off in Central London, at Regent's Park from 14 to 18 June paying homage to best restaurants, leading chefs and all the glorious food and drinks to taste, with chefs showcasing their creative talent through live demonstrations.

Turkish food is recognised as a favourite amongst the top cuisines in the world. The seasons and regions play a significant part in food specialities. Turkey welcomes and is home to seven climates, a history dating back thousands of years with much food variety and delights to cater for all palates.

The Turkish Ministry of Tourism's UK team are excited to partner at Taste of London with Turkish culinary chefs such as Huseyin Ozer of Sofra Restaurants, Selin Kiazim of Oklava, Ozlem Warren of Ozlem's Turkish Table, Servet Kilic of OTTO Mediterranean, Serhat Onal of Kibele bringing their take on Turkish food trends.