A powerful new group has been formed to give England’s food and drink industry a strong collective voice in the wake of Covid-19 and Brexit
Food from England has been created from more than 30 regional groups – from Dorset Food and Drink to Taste Cheshire – which represent over 43,000 businesses across the UK. The organisation will support small and medium sized businesses by providing a unified platform to communicate the industry’s needs to relevant government agencies and departments.
The group also aims to highlight the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit and identify ways to help the industry navigate its way through both, while encouraging consumers to keep supporting their local food and drink producers.
One of the founding Food from England members John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food said: ‘The past eight months have seen disaster and innovation within the regional food and drink sector, possibly in equal measure.
‘Consumers across the country are now realising the importance of connections across the food and drink supply chain, between makers, retailers and consumers – connections that have suddenly become more urgent, closer, simpler and friendlier as a result of coronavirus.
‘We have witnessed the rise and fall of our artisan cheesemakers and watched with sadness as our cousins in food service saw their trade plummet overnight. This has been balanced by independent retailers attracting new customers, adopting the internet as a tool to keep them, and unearthing previously unknown suppliers from their area to broaden the retail offer.’
Mr Farrand continued: ‘We need the support of the food and drink trade, but most of all we need the shoppers who have recently discovered their local producers and independent retailers. By supporting your local deli, farm shop, butcher, cheese shop, food and drink shows, community and village store, you can support your regional producers. Most important of all, you’ll help ensure that local food and drink can contribute to our food security and peace of mind.’
A logo has been created by Salt Media in support of the organisation.
Regional groups represented by Food from England include; Cornwall Food & Drink, Cotswold Taste, Deliciouslyorkshire, Dorset Food and Drink, Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire, Food and Drink Forum, Food and Drink North East, Food Drink Devon, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Great Food Club, Guild of Fine Food, Hampshire Fare, Lincolnshire Showground, Made in Derbyshire, Made in Northamptonshire, Produced in Northumberland, Produced in Kent, Proudly Norfolk, Rural Community Council of Essex, Shropshire Festivals, Sussex Food Network, Taste Cheshire, Taste of the West, Three Counties Food & Drink Co Ltd, Worcestershire Food and Drink, Worcestershire Regulatory Services, Young Foodies.