Lancashire’s ‘Taste Exchange’ to connect producers’ to market

Forty Lancashire food professionals debate local produce with Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire and Matthew Fort, British Food writer and critic, in May 2016

LANCASHIRE’S food & drink producers will be showcasing their regional produce to restaurateurs, chefs and retailers, in a bid to strengthen the county’s food and drink identity.

The first Lancashire Taste Exchange will take place at Barton Grange Hotel on Monday 25 July 2016.

Developed by Marketing Lancashire, the networking event hopes to generate new opportunities for the region’s food & drink businesses.

Food & drink is worth around £734 million to Lancashire’s visitor economy, accounting for 20% of its tourism revenue. Its value has risen by £129 million (21%) since 2009,according to Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor 2015.

The Taste Exchange was created in response to feedback from 40 of Lancashire’s most respected producers, chefs, retailers, butchers, farmers and growers, who attended its great Lancashire Food Debate in May. The round-table event was chaired by food writer and broadcaster Matthew Fort, a graduate of Lancaster University.

The debate highlighted the benefits of sharing information about the county’s produce and meeting other Lancashire ambassadors for the regions food and drink offer, to inspire new collaborations and generate business within and outside the county.

Local suppliers who have already signed up to the event include: wholesalers, R Noone and son, Cleggs, Sharrocks, the Westmorland family and a large number of Lancashire farm shops.

Restaurateurs attending include: Freemasons at Wiswell, Hipping Hall, The White Swan at Fence, Parker’s Arms and the Cartford Inn.

Producers include Burnley’s first ever gin distillery, Batch Brew Gin, Mr Fitzpatrick’s vintage cordials, Old School Brewery, Bowland Brewery, Goosenargh duck, Dewlay Cheesemakers, Atkinson’s Coffee, Lancashire Cheesecake Company, Molyneux Kale, My Fish Company, Pugh’s Piglets, Beech’s Fine Chocolates and Smithy Mushrooms.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire said “We know how difficult it is for chefs to find time to get out of their kitchens and discover delicious produce on their doorstep, and similarly for the county’s industrious producers to be able to present their food and drink to Lancashire’s top restaurateurs and retailers.

“We believe that Lancashire is producing food and drink of a calibre equal to any foodie destination in the UK, and we want people to know that. The Taste Exchange will help us present a united front, celebrating with our produce on as many menus and on as many farm-shop shelves as possible.”

The Taste Exchange will take place on Monday 25 July at Barton Grange Hotel 2-5pm. For more information on how to attend the event, as either a chef, retailer, or producer please contact jennifer@lemonzestpr.co.uk

Lancashire-based food businesses interested in becoming members of Marketing Lancashire should contact Maria Moriarty Eames, Head of Partnerships on 01772 426450.

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