The City Food Lecture is organised by the seven City livery companies whose roots are in the food industry – namely the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters.
The Seven Food Livery Companies
The Company is the City’s second-oldest recorded trade guild, being first mentioned in the ‘Pipe-Rolls’ of Henry II in 1155. Often blamed for the Great Fire of London, in which it lost its Hall, the Company has been in residence at Harp Lane since 1506. Its modern raison d’etre is its links to support the baking industry, particularly at the grassroots level of bakery education.
The Butchers’ Company can trace its history as far back as 975 AD when, in the Ward of Farringdon Without, a Butchers’ Hall existed. Today, the Company is a vibrant organisation supporting an active trade by way of training, education and charitable work. Almost all its members are involved in the meat industry and thus share a common value in good fellowship.
Receiving its first Royal Charter in 1482, the Cooks’ Company supports apprentice chefs training at Westminster Kingsway College and sponsors catering competitions across the industry and in the armed services. It also funds major charitable projects related to education and catering, through the ‘Adopt a Chef’ programme for schools and by making grants to charities such as Crisis UK, The Clink and the Treloar Trust.
The Worshipful Company of Farmers is the City of London Livery Company dedicated to the positive promotion, better understanding, visibility, management and development of UK agriculture.
Its principal charitable purpose is agricultural education, delivered through its portfolio of highly respected courses and the provision of training, grants, bursaries and educational awards to inspire, drive and recognise excellence.
One of the UK’s largest, environmental, philanthropic organisations, the Fishmongers’ Company works through its Fisheries Trust to build and safeguard a prosperous and sustainable fish and fisheries sector, thriving coastal communities and healthy marine and freshwater environments.
Over the 700 years of its history, the Company has assumed different roles. Today the Company promotes excellence across all sectors of the fruit industry, as well as supporting education and research. It is active in raising funds and giving to charity. Half of its members are involved in the fresh produce industry.
The Poulters’ Company, in common with other livery companies, was founded in the Middle Ages to control the provision of services and the manufacture and the selling of goods and food. The Company’s charitable role is increasing and it is active in promoting research and education in the trade through its charitable trusts, with a strong nucleus of members from the various branches of the poultry industry.
We are pleased to support initiatives taken by our liverymen in pursuit of highlighting everything that is good about British food and its people. We take this opportunity to highlight 2 such initiatives.
Tiptree World Bread Awards Heroes is a campaign created in this exceptional year by the organisers of the Tiptree World Bread Awards with Brook Food.
Instead of celebrating the loaf this year, as they usually would, they decided to celebrate the person behind the loaf – bakers, millers and farmers around the UK, who have gone the extra mile to serve their community in these challenging times.
There are 12 regional Bread Heroes and everyone has been captured in black and white imagery by photographer Henry Kenyon, whose work has been published in both the UK and the USA in publications ranging from The Guardian, Tatler and the Financial Times