James and Emily BradshawIt started with a bet and an idea as the new Year unfolded: is it possible to live a full year buying  only British goods, including  alcohol, as a one-family attempt to kick-start our failing economy.

In an echo of the 1960’s ‘I’m Backing Britain’ campaign, James and Emily Bradshaw (pictured) of Westerham, Kent, a lawyer and a teacher, plan to substitute every item they purchase and consume in 2013 – with the exception of medicine – comes from the UK, says James. One key aspect of this import-substitution will be the couple’s alcoholic intake, both personally and when hosting guests at the family’s Kent home.

He says: “Emily is the wine buff in our house and is actually quite keen on a tipple. I am more a single malt and real ale man which makes this project a little easier on me. Emily is looking forward to the chance to enjoy more English wine.”

The couple, who have one son, Lucan, who is now 2½ years old, are already familiar with Biddenden wines, which they enjoy. The family typically spend around £10 a bottle of wine and consume around 120 bottles, a volume that one on-line retailer considers they can easily replace from English production.

Wine buying

Mark Haddock of GreatEnglishWines.co.uk of Hungerford, Berkshire, who has given the couple a discount voucher, says: “They won’t have any problem at that price point in replacing foreign wine with English wine on a like-for-like basis. They are definitely living in the right place for English wine.

“We are now producing wines that are beating our continental cousins in international competitions.”

Haddock notes that the increasing number of websites selling English wine makes purchasing the wine easy for Emily.

He says: “I have no doubt they can source that volume of English wine. With the poor conditions last summer, larger wineries have kept stocks back. They should source their wine on-line as many sites, like ours, give great discounts.”

Julia Trustram Eve of English Wine Producers says: “What they are doing is fantastic, and through them we will all learn more about the wonderful goods and services from the UK.

“Happily for them they will not be short of choices of English wine to enjoy.

“Living in the heart of Kent they are also in the heart of wine growing country in the UK, but there are also so many outlets that stock English wines.  We’ll be following their website and tweets throughout the year,”

Throughout their challenge, the Bradshaws will keep a running commentary, through their blog www.britishfamily.co.uk  and their Twitter account (@britishfamily)