A NEW not-for-profit membership group is being launched combining the cream of business services with support and discounted products for everyone involved in the North East’s regional food and drink sector.
Taste North East Limited has been formed by merging Taste NE, The North East England Food and Drink Group, a project to improve the region’s food & drink sector funded by ONE North East and its host organisation, Northumbria Larder, the organisation for local food and drink producers.
United as the region’s sole food and drink organisation, Taste North East is not just a new name; the brand new membership organisation is bringing a whole fresh look and feel to promoting the North East’s food and drink sector at every level.
Northumbria Larder and Taste North East are bringing the best from their individual bodies to champion and support everyone involved in the local food and drink sector, from artisan bakers to visitor attractions, hotels and retailers.
In the tough economic climate, Taste North East will be a self-sustaining membership body that no longer needs to rely on public funding to survive.
Services offered by the new group will be open to all aspects of the industry, providing support from initial start-up enterprises through to expanding companies.
Via a menu of services and membership packages starting from £75, companies can access advice on a range of issues such as skills and training, technical and compliance or marketing as well as assistance in identifying routes to markets. Members can also draw on an online ‘Ask the Expert’ facility with an evolving range of expertise available.
At a lunch event in Blackfriars restaurant, Newcastle - kindly hosted by Andy Hook and his team – the achievements of Taste NE and Northumbria Larder were celebrated and the new food and drink group for the region launched.
Henry Roberts, Taste North East chairman, said: “I am delighted that we are bringing the two groups together in a new organisation that has the interests of all those businesses connected to the food and drink sector at heart.
“As a membership body, Taste North East will continue to support this vital part of the North East’s economy with updated services, money-saving discounts and more.
“In establishing Taste North East Limited we have cherry-picked the core strengths from Northumbria Larder and Taste North East. A key feature of this new food and drink organisation is that membership and support is open to all businesses working within the food and drink sector, including accommodation providers, retailers and restaurants.
“If a business grows, makes, sells, prepares or serves food and drink then they are eligible to become Taste North East Limited members. And by joining, businesses will become a part of the North East’s only food and drink network.
Outgoing Taste North East chair Sir Donald Curry said “We are very proud of the achievements of Taste NE over the period of its contract, in raising the profile of food and drink businesses in the region and helping them to grow and find new markets as well as stimulating demand for local produce. In the last year alone we estimate that around £3.7m of extra business has been generated for the sector.
“I am delighted that this new group will take that success forward and continue to help put this region on the map, as food and drink is of fundamental importance to the economy of our region, local job creation and plays a huge part in driving the tourism agenda.”
Taste North East will champion the North East’s food and drink industry on behalf of members and spread the word both regionally and further afield about what members can bring to the table. Above all, it aims to raise standards across the board to help the North East’s food and drink sector become recognised as one of the best in the UK.
Businesses can join one of three tiers of membership: bronze, silver and gold, with prices starting at £75.
In return, they are offered access to a host of business-boosting services, including:
It is the region's not for profit food and drink membership organisation.
You can join if you grow, make, sell, prepare or serve food and drink.
For further details on Taste North East membership | E: email@example.com | T: 0845 456 2340