HRH samples the cream of Northumberland’s crop in Hexham showcase

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales sampled the very best of Northumberland’s produce on a visit to a special Showcase Market in Hexham today.

Hundreds of people lined the Market Place as the Prince was welcomed to the town by the Mayor of Hexham.  He was then taken on a tour of the market by Neil Brown, Northumberland County Council’s Markets Manager.

 

The heir to the throne visited stalls selling locally produced and sourced items including jam, cheese, water, honey and beer, and chatted to traders about their goods.  He sampled one or two items, and took away a number of Northumberland ‘goodie bags’.

 

Elys Poppy, the Sauce Queen, had even made a special HRH delicacy which she named Royal Blue - a combination of Cropwell Bishop Stilton, White Truffle and White Wine.

 

The Prince spent a lot of time speaking to stallholders - hearing from Sandy Higson, The Mad Jam Woman; Joe Evans from Marlish Water; Tony Foreman from the Northumberland Cheese Company; Ceri Aitman from Oakwood Soaperies; and Jimmy ‘The Lamb Man’ Bell, amongst others.

 

A number of the stalls were selling goods under the banner of the widely acclaimed ‘Produced in Northumberland’ scheme which his run and managed by Northumberland County Council.

 

All products promoted under the scheme are authentic to the county - supporting local businesses and reducing food miles.  It currently has 83 members ranging from manufacturers of food and drink, small scale producers, hotels, restaurants and retail, as well as B&Bs and guest houses.

 

Hairy Biker Si King is an ambassador for the scheme, and it even has the backing of the Prime Minister who recently tasted some of the produce when scheme members made a special visit to the Houses of Parliament.


Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture and tourism at the council and county councillor for Hexham East ward said:  “We are delighted that his Royal Highness is making these visits in Northumberland and I am sure that he very much enjoyed the showcase market in Hexham today.

 

“Northumberland is proud to be home to a fantastic variety of businesses that make, serve and sell a diverse range of high quality foods and beverages that are produced within the county.

“With the ever-growing popularity of food tourism, and the increased importance of food provenance to the consumer, our Produced in Northumberland scheme provides customers with the confidence that the origin of the food is directly from our county.


“The Royal visits to Northumberland have provided us with a great opportunity to raise our profile as a leading destination of choice for visitors, with a food and drink offer second to none.”

Traders at the special showcase market in Hexham were also from Hexham and Morpeth Farmers Markets, as well as Hexham’s regular Tuesday and Shambles markets.

Goods at farmers’ market stalls are produced within a 50 miles radius of the market and the produce grown, reared or processed by the stallholder.

 

While in Hexham His Royal Highness also visited the town’s historic Abbey - where he heard about 84 medieval panel paintings which are of national significance and about a new charitable group which will support and future care and maintenance of the stunning building.


He is also making visits to The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre; Kirkharle, the birthplace of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown; and the Kielder Salmon Centre and Hatchery.

Tomorrow (Thursday 13th) he will see a juniper restoration and propagation project at the Moorland Spirit Company Ltd’s Hepple Gin distillery and visit the Alnwick Garden to attend the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland’s Garden Party for Volunteers and Carers.

To find out more about Produced in Northumberland visit producedin.northumberland.gov.uk  or to see details of markets across Northumberland go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/markets

 

Products marked with the ‘Produced in Northumberland’ logo are guaranteed through annual verification audits by council trading standards and environmental health officers.

 
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