DZG was in the royal spotlight yesterday as CEO, Peter Suddock, and Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, joined fellow British Food fans in a harvest service at Birmingham Cathedral attended by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
Peter Suddock said: “It was a great privilege to be invited to the service, which was a truly memorable celebration of the very best of British food that is available within the community.
“We always buy British have done since the zoo opened in 1937 we believe it’s important to support suppliers on our doorstep. “
BFF founder, Alexia Robinson, said: “None of the day’s activities would have taken place without the tremendous support that BFF enjoys.
“It is now more important than ever to introduce the next generation to the harvest tradition and celebrate a time when communities come together to gather and share the crops they have grown.”
In 2010 DZG was the first British zoo to support BFF and is now a committed participant in its annual programme.
Last year Peter and Jill joined the congregation at Westminster Abbey, for the first harvest festival to be held within the abbey for half a century, staged as part of BFF’s campaign to rekindle the tradition of celebrating produce in the autumn.
Some of the rarest animals in the world celebrated British Food Fortnight (Sept 2o to Oct 5) with a seasonal feast at DZG? with keepers distributing onions, carrots, potatoes and late salad crops, along with apples and pears, to 200 species across our 1,800-strong collection at the heart of England. From magnificent Sumatran tigers to cheeky small primates, they all enjoyed the Best of British that’s grown on the doorstep. DZG Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said: “All of our animals enjoy a well-balanced diet that takes advantage of seasonal produce. “We know how important it is to buy British, we’ve been doing it for the past 77 years. “Since the zoo was founded in 1937 we have sourced locally-grown food, bought from suppliers on our doorstep, and opted for seasonal produce wherever possible. “And with an annual food bill topping £120,000 we have to make sure our pennies buy the best of British produce.” Fruits and vegetables are purchased from neighbouring counties, but the site’s freshest food fish for our Patagonian sealion and the UK’s largest colony of 68 rare Humboldt penguins arrives from Grimsby within hours of being caught.