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Where Does my Dinner Come From?

There are certain types of food and drink that most of us think of as typically British, but is that still the case?

Using trade data from the Royal Institute of International Affairs and other governmental sources showing which commodities we import and consume in the UK, Moneypod wanted to find out where our fish & chips, Sunday dinner and cups of tea really come from.

 

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The UK now produces less than half of its own pork, with 54% imported from Denmark, the Netherlands and other European countries. That’s around £1.5bn worth of pork every year. Denmark is also the UK’s biggest importer of bacon, accounting for around 16% of what we consume. The bulk of the sausage consumed in the nation is still produced in the UK, as well 92% of eggs.

However, it’s tomatoes that show the biggest variation in terms of where they are sourced. We eat more tomatoes produced in the Netherlands than we do from the UK. Overall, we produce less than 30% of the tomatoes we consume.

 

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The vast majority of cod consumed in Britain is still caught in the UK, with us importing around 9.6% ever year. Similar to an English breakfast, the Netherlands is one of our major importers, accounting for 6.5% of potatoes and 2.7% of peas. Belgium is our other main importer when it comes to fish and chips, supplying 13% of peas, 7.7% of salt and 4.1% of potatoes.

 

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The UK produces around 94% of the milk it consumes, worth a massive £4.6bn. When it comes to tea, Kenya is by far our biggest importer, supplying 21% and India 6.1%. France supplies a large amount of the sugar consumed in the UK every year, accounting for 15%.

 

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There are many components to a Sunday dinner. In terms of meat, 95% of lamb is produced in the UK. Interestingly, New Zealand is the biggest importer of lamb into the UK, accounting for 3.4%. Spain is the biggest importer on our list, shipping in a massive 58.7% of the UK’s cauliflower and broccoli.

 

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Around 95% of Barley is produced in the UK, with Sweden and Ireland account for 1.1% respectively. However, the UK’s wheat production accounts for a much smaller percentage of overall consumption. Only 81% of the barley consumed in the UK is produced on these shores, with Germany, Canada and France our main importers.