THE UK’S first national centre for food and drink transparency has been launched by food provenance pioneer, Happerley, in an attempt to reduce food fraud and misrepresentation in the food chain.

It aims to restore honesty and credibility to food provenance by providing information on all the ingredients used in their food products - tracing them back to individual farms or fishing boats.

This independent food and leisure destination is situated at Lock29, in Banbury’s Castle Quay, Oxfordshire and 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.

This move comes as a response to the growing interest in food and drink transparency sweeping across the UK and will offer an insight into the very best of English food and drink production and producers.

Currently the UK faces a bill for £12bn in food fraud annually and this centre will look to combat this figure, which is predicted to reach as high as £60bn.

The plans were announced on Friday, July 12, at a launch event at Willow Hill Farm, Apperley - the farm where it all began for Happerley’s founder and CEO, Matthew Rymer: “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 and 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,” he continued. “Happerley England stands for delivering honesty and communicating that on behalf of everyone; it’s a beacon of transparency.”

The event was hosted by Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson: “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 at this magnificent launch. 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,” said Mr Henson. “This will pull the whole of society together.”