Following the recommendations of the Curry Commission, Defra, Food from Britain (FFB), the Regional Development Agencies and the Countryside Agency jointly agreed in January 2003 a Regional Food Strategy. One of the key elements of the strategy was a new structure for supporting quality regional food initiatives. This element of the strategy is led by FFB which receives additional Government funds to promote quality regional food. For the purposes of the strategy `regional food` is defined as, 'Food produced within a particular geographical area (whether administrative region, county, town or other appellation) and marketed as coming from that area' However, it may be sold within or outside that area. Regional food is perceived to have a distinctive quality because of the area in or the method by which it is produced. The Strategy is also supported through a number of other Defra initiatives.
The evaluation is intended to consider whether there remains a continuing economic rationale for the Regional Food Strategy in terms of any market failure, provide an early indication of the effectiveness of the Strategy, its impacts to date and make recommendations on any areas for improvement.