Promoting our own food & businesses

Promoting our own food & businesses

Relying on food tourism to help boost the local economy

Northumberland is England’s most northern county and relies on tourism to support its local economy. We are proud of our local food, and the businesses that strive to promote our locally produced delicacies.

We, therefore, view our contribution to our local economy as vital in helping to promote local Northumberland produce and, at the same time, ensure greater consumer confidence in the origin of foods that are produced in Northumberland.  

We are also hoping to encourage membership of this scheme as part of an approach to reduce food miles, increase production and sales and with the ultimate aim to increase employment in our Northumberland businesses due to increased demand. 

The Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs has already carried out a number of projects which link food tourism with job creation and the local economy.

Northumberland Food & Drink Initiative's proposals

Due to the rise in interest for a Northumberland food brand, the Northumberland Food & Drink Initiative focus group was set up.

This is an initiative with members consisting of Northumberland County Council, Active Northumberland, LEADER, Northumberland Tourism and various representatives from Northumberland manufacturers, retailers, development trusts and the B&B and catering industry.

The group agreed that to give credibility to claims made about local food, some form of audited verification scheme was required rather than a paper scheme where members simply sign up to it. 

As the council already had a working scheme for butchers, it was agreed that this should be amended and expanded to include other food businesses. 

The group has also agreed on a brand for foods made in the county, Produced in Northumberland, and designed a logo which can be applied to food product packaging, websites, certificates and other literature where a business is part of the scheme.

In addition to the issue of certificates and permission to use the brand logo, member businesses will be listed on our own Produced in Northumberland website (search function under development). 

This is searchable by category e.g. bakery, meat, fish, drinks, B&B’s etc, open to the public and traders alike and will be linked to the Northumberland Tourism and Visit Northumberland websites. 

For business, this is ideal for networking so they can easily check for producers of Northumberland foods should they wish to use them in their restaurant etc.

It will also have the option for businesses to give a brief description of what products they make or sell, the scope of their verification and with a link to their own website.

Signing up to Produced in Northumberland

Any business can sign up to the scheme (to which an annual fee applies) as long as they can verify that food items that they manufacture, serve or sell were made in Northumberland.

To gain verification, manufacturers and small scale producers will have to prove that their produce has been produced in Northumberland. For butchers and farmers, in addition they will also have to prove that the livestock from which their meat originates are from Northumberland farms.

Retailers will have to prove they have a variable selection of Northumberland-made food and drink from a number of different producers. These should be clearly identified as “Produced in Northumberland” to avoid confusion with other food and drink on sale.

For B&Bs with a limited breakfast menu, there is the requirement to show that they are providing at least three main foods that are produced in Northumberland for their guests, e.g. kippers, bacon and sausage.

Other hospitality businesses, e.g. pubs, cafes, hotels, restaurants and similar, will have to prove they have at least nine main foods divided between the breakfast, lunch and evening menu. Should they only provide breakfast and lunch, or lunch and evening meals, then they must prove that they use six main foods divided between the two menus.