Top chef pledges support to innovative ‘This is Cumbria’ initiative as plans gather pace

A TOP chef has pledged his support to an initiative which will propel some of Cumbria’s emerging stars of the food and drink sector into the national spotlight.

Martin Frickel, who earlier this week battled it out for the prestigious National Chef of the Year crown, has agreed to support the This is Cumbria movement.

He will appear at the popular Farm Shop and Deli Show next April, where an area of exhibition space will be taken over by dozens of producers from the county.

Frickel, the senior sous chef at the Forest Side in Grasmere, agreed to support the ambitious plan as a fresh call was made for big businesses in the county to support the initiative.

Sue Howorth of the Family Business Network is leading the This is Cumbria movement along with Keith and Jacqueline Jackson, of Thomas Jardine & Co.

She said: “The food and drink sector plays a vital part in the Cumbrian economy, providing employment and business opportunities, from our up-and-coming new food and drink producers to well-established family businesses based in the sector, and national food and drink firms based in
Cumbria.

“It also offers a unique taste of what Cumbria can offer, supplying Cumbrian staples consumed by tourist visitors in our B&Bs, hotels, restaurants and retail outlets.

“We have some funding, but for this initiative to be a success, we really need the county’s big businesses to show their support.

“By backing This is Cumbria , companies will be encouraging our growing food and drink and related businesses to expand their marketplace regionally, nationally and internationally. It is our intention to make this an annual event that will encourage the growth of the Cumbrian Food and Drink Sector for years to come.”

The This is Cumbria idea originated from Hawkshead Relish and Ginger Bakers. Among the growing businesses which have expressed an interest in taking part are Shed 1 Distillery, Lauren Cows, Bruce & Lukes, Cakes from the Lakes, Lakeland Artisan, Bakes & Balls, Miles Moore Ceramics, Winter Tarn Dairy, Grasmere Chocolates, Molly Rose Drinks and Pennington’s Spirits and Liqueurs.

The project is being underpinned by Hawkshead Relish, Ginger Bakers, Kin Vodka, Tray Bakes and Pennington’s Spirits and Liqueurs who have booked and committed to larger stands within the pavilion.

Since its inception in 2011, the Farm Shop and Deli Show has gone from strength to strength with more than 450 companies exhibiting.

It now welcomes thousands of key buyers from the specialty retail sector every year, within the area of 30,0000 attendees over three days. Next year’s event will be held at the NEC in Birmingham on April 8-10.

For more details about sponsorship packages, email hello@thomasjardineandco.co.uk.

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