Everyone has to eat to live - but some of us live to eat! Our purpose in life at Taste North East is to make sure what goes on our plates at home and at work is produced in the North East of England.
We have a wealth of outstanding local food – from Tweed to Tees. Our region has one of the best larders in the country, thanks to its strong fishing and farming heritage, and our producers are some of the most inspiring in the UK.
The thing about food is that it can make a good experience a great one and that makes it a really important part of anyone’s offering – from farm shops to festivals and football clubs. Financially it has been shown again and again that the presence and promotion of locally produced food creates the opportunity to add value and raise prices
You only have to look at Taste North East’s membership directory of the people who produce our food and the places where you can find and it to see just how diverse our choices are now. I want to help people and businesses to discover, source and share what they love about locally-produced food and drink. And if we’re eating more regional food, we’re supporting our neighbours and their families because they are getting more business and a fairer deal, and when things are tight I want to know that my money is helping people who are close to me, that’s super important.
Connecting people – especially buyers and suppliers and creating a buzzing network of people and businesses who buy, supply, produce and consume food and drink in the region and beyond is pretty fundamental to what we do.
My aim is for the North East to punch well above its weight food and drink-wise. On a national scale we don’t have as much critical mass as many other regions – but let’s not let them know that! None of them are as big as all of us working together and together we can shape a region where local food is championed, consumed and shared by local authorities, institutions, throughout our service sector and in our homes.
We will campaign for regional produce to be sold in every food outlet and by retailers of all sizes.
In the hospitality sector, restaurants, hoteliers, pubs and caterers will be inspired to seek out and source food and drink with North East provenance, supported by Taste North East and our partners, who include but are not limited to Love Food, Taste Durham, Stockton Council, Eat! and North Northumberland Tourism Association.
We’re doing our bit by inspiring organisations of all sizes to pledge their commitment to source one or two new products locally. Once we have their commitment we organise Meet the Buyer events at which producers pitch their wares and broker new business relationships. We work with the distributors and the wholesalers who make local food more accessible and affordable, and we’re the go-to place for ANYONE involved in North East food and drink to come to for advice, information and intelligence about who’s doing what related to food and drink in the UK.
We are going to make it easier for all of us to do our bit to shout about our fantastic regional produce – in the news, via social networking like Twitter and Facebook, to our friends and colleagues and through columns like Food for Thought.
We’re so excited that Taste is backing us in our mission to help people Discover, Source and Share North East food!
So, if you make, serve, distribute or sell local food (or you would like to) and you want to share what you have to offer with others - or if like me, you’re a foodie and want to share your latest regional find, we’d love to hear from you! Share with us on twitter @tastenortheast or email me at email@example.com – let’s all be a part of it.