Some of the finest locally produced food and drink will take centre stage in a special showcase event in the Houses of Parliament.
MPs and government ministers will be able to find out more about the fantastic local businesses and top quality produce that is being promoted under the Produced In Northumberland brand.
Produced in Northumberland is run by Northumberland County Council that highlights and promotes the local businesses that make, sell or serve foods produced within the county. The scheme guides residents, visitors and holiday makers towards authentic Northumberland delicacies to experience and take home.
On Wednesday 13 June, eight local businesses will head to Westminster with the council, to exhibit and present an array of food and drink produce to tantalise the taste buds.
Leader of Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson said: “Northumberland is proud to be home to a fantastic variety of businesses that make, serve and sell a diverse range of high quality foods and beverages that are produced within the county.
“It’s vital that we use our influence and continue to make an impact where we can to have our voices heard, and we’re determined to shout about all that’s great about Northumberland. This event will provide a great opportunity to raise our profile as a leading visitor destination of choice for visitors to our county, with a food and drink offer second to none.”
Following prime-time food television programmes, consumers are developing a higher expectation over the quality of what they eat and drink. Hairy Biker Si King is an ambassador for the scheme, highlighting the importance of knowing the source of our food, right down to the raw ingredients.
With the ever-growing popularity of food tourism, and the increased importance of food provenance to the consumer, the scheme provides customers with the confidence that the origin of the food is directly from Northumberland.
During 2016, 9.7 million people visited Northumberland contributing £852m to its economy, supporting employment of 14,152 people. The food and drink sector plays a crucial part in Northumberland’s tourism offer - food and drink contributed £307m to our local economy in 2016, accounting for 36% of the overall economic impact.
Produced in Northumberland also has the backing of the Prime Minister who has recently tasted some of the produce.
“I was delighted to sample some of the products and to learn more about this excellent scheme which follows the production process from farm to shelf. By doing so, it lets consumers know that the food and drink they're buying is locally sourced, ethically produced, and of a high quality,” Mrs May said.
Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Northumberland County Council, Cath Homer, said: “The food and drink sector plays a crucial part in Northumberland’s tourism offer, which contributed over £300m to the local economy in 2016.
“We hope this opportunity to network on a national stage will raise awareness of our food and drinks industry among key decision makers, and highlight the importance of buying local produce which will help these local businesses to develop and grow.”
Hosting some of the nation’s finest manufacturers, Produced in Northumberland includes some of the highest quality brands, like Lindisfarne Mead and Alnwick Rum, whilst Marlish Water supplies Michelin star restaurants in the North, combined with Hepple Gin who were this year’s finalists for the BBC Best Drinks Producer. And Doddington Dairy won Gold in the BBC Food and Farming Awards for their Darling Blue Cheese last year.
Alongside, Kitty's Homemade Ginger and family-run Turnbull Butchers of Alnwick, the exquisite Carrolls Heritage Potatoes, and the Northumbrian Bakehouse, as well as award winning Old Boathouse Food Group, this forms the eight-strong delegation heading to Westminster with the county council on 13 June.