Local Flavours 2013 - launches to support the local food industry.
Published: 22 Jul 2013
The Eastern region is bursting with talented food and drink producers, from
the kitchen table cupcake makers to some of the largest food businesses in the UK. All contribute to a diverse and flavoursome mix of great food, making the area one of the most talented food producing areas in the UK.
Many of the local supermarket chains as well as the major nationals have made it a policy to promote local produce on their shelves. For instance, through the "Sourced Locally" initiative the East of England Co-op are active in putting more local products on their supermarket and food store shelves than ever before, working with East Anglia's finest producers, large and small, to source quality products from across our region.
Amanda Long, Executive - Membership, Marketing & Media for the East of England Co-operative Society says;
"The East of England Co-operative Society has been at the very centre of local life in some form or another since 1860. In the intervening 153 years we have been witness to epic changes in food production, agricultural practices, global distribution networks, economic migration and population explosion so there has never been a more crucial time for us to celebrate and invest in local food.
"So much sits beneath where the food on our plate comes from. It is underpinned by local character, community cohesion, economic vibrancy and a sense of doing something worthwhile. All this is facing the challenge of pressure from development, massive food waste and security issues and changing shopping behaviours.
"We at the East of England Co-op know how important sourcing local food is and just how much good it can do - from supporting the business we buy from to offering our customers the best value and taste we can. That's why initiatives such as 'Local Flavours' make such a difference - local people standing up and celebrating the best of what's on offer is one thing, but taking it a step further and bring producers, buyers and consumers together will hopefully build on the momentum of local food that we hope will grow and grow."
A group of local business people, (Valerie Watson-Brown, The Lively Crew and BOLD Directories, Clarke Willis CEO at Anglia Farmers and Ian Alston, Owner Honingham Thorpe Farms) all passionate about the regions food industry, will be working in association to launch an annual "Meet the Buyer" event putting buyers and customers in front of suppliers and fulfilling a commercial requirement in the September Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival - Local Flavours 2013.
Local Flavours 2013 is all about making it easy for food and drink buyers keen to support local producers, to meet and sample their goods. The idea of meeting in one place will relieve, for many, the pressure of trying to source locally in such a diverse market.
Local Flavours 2013 is taking place on the 10th September 2013 at Honingham Thorpe Farms, just off the A47 and the proposed place for a Norfolk Food Hub, in the backyard of Anglia Farmers.
The event is by invitation for trade buyers and potential customers of the 50 or so stand holders exhibiting. Attendees are invited from hotels and restaurants, catering firms, tourist attractions, anyone responsible for food in the hospitality arena plus food retailers, locally and nationally, passionate about sourcing produce from the region.
The September event will also be raising funds for " Lucie's Life Saving Project" in memory of Lucie Proctor.
Clarke Willis, CEO Anglia Farmers, "The Eastern region is rich with talented food producers of all shapes and sizes. We work with many such organisations to promote the strength of the food industry in the area. Bringing many of them together under one roof will give producers the opportunity to get their goods in front of many of the buyers who support or want to support the local food sector."
Ian Alston, Honingham Thorpe Farms, "We have no hesitation in supporting this great cause by hosting the event at the farm. Supporting local food producers is crucial to our economy. Honingham Thorpe Farms has a vision to create a Norfolk Food Hub just off the A47. This clearly fits well with the Local Flavours 2013 objectives."
Plans for the Food Hub will create a busy enterprise park with facilities to accommodate a range of rural food and drink related businesses. The vision sets out a new livestock market and a flagship food hall to include a bakery and restaurants. The overall scale of the project is significant, with emphasis on adding value to local produce through processing, a central storage and handling facility, packaging, promotion and distribution. There are plans to promote dietary health and to encourage science and education in connection with the food facility. A garden centre and nursery in the plans will complement the food hall.
A core objective is to boost the consumption of locally produced food and drink, and increase the use of local produce in Norfolk schools, hospitals and other areas by facilitating a Food Hub in the heart of the county which is increasingly accessible.
Valerie Watson-Brown, Director The Lively Crew and BOLD Directories, "Local Flavours 2013 is totally focused on food and drink and supporting local producers. Our job as matchmakers is made easier by the encouragement and offer of support we have had from organisations willing to help make it a success. We already work with food companies across the fresh produce supply chain in the UK and abroad and we understand the importance of supporting this regions food industry, retaining it as an exciting and innovative growth area with huge employment potential for young people. Our direct experience with the industry, tells us that it is just the boost the industry needs at this time and we will aim to make this a regular annual event."
For more information about Local Flavours 2013 visit www.localflavours2013.co.uk , to book a stand or to add your name to the guest list telephone 01603 702374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org