MORE people are taking pains to discover where food is produced before buying - good news for Britain's farmers and growers - as a result of the "Eat the View "Campaign launched last year. But there is still a long way to go.
These are the main findings from new research for the Countryside Agency, which launched the campaign with the backing of other countryside organisations following the foot and mouth disaster.
The aim was to make food shoppers, most of them town-based, aware of the fact that spending their money on locally produced food helped farmers and growers to continue to husband the landscape as well as their animals and crops.
Over the weekend, the agency released the results of a survey carried out with the Institute of Grocery Distributors which showed that one in five shoppers now take an interest in the source of their food - twice the percentage this time last year.
Richard Wakeford, Countryside Agency chief executive, said: "As shoppers discriminate more, they can send messages back to retailers and producers about how food is produced, as well as secure higher quality for themselves.
"At the same time this research shows that most people don't understand the impact their purchases can make on the countryside they care about. There is a great deal to do to influence the four in five people who show little or no interest in where their food comes from."