Image demonstrating Produced in Northumberland celebrate success after Westminster event

Produced in Northumberland celebrate success after Westminster event

Northumberland’s big day in Westminster drew scores of MPs and peers at a showcase of the county’s finest food and drink producers.

Government ministers including Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister took time out of their busy schedules to meet and sample produce from eight local producers.

Jake Berry spoke to all producers and commended them for visiting Parliament to showcase their great produce. He also explained that is was very timely particularly in relation to the North of Tyne Devolution Deal which is taking powers out of Whitehall and giving it back to local areas including Northumberland.

Eight Northumberland based businesses attended the event in the Houses of Parliament alongside representatives from Northumberland County Council, to exhibit and present an array of quality food and drink to some of the most influential decision makers in the country.

Produced in Northumberland, run by the council, highlights and promotes the local businesses that make, sell or serve foods produced within the county. The scheme guides residents, visitors and holiday makers towards authentic Northumberland delicacies to experience and take home. 

Leader of Northumberland County Council, Councillor Peter Jackson said: “The event was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the diverse range of high quality producers in Northumberland. We were delighted to welcome a constant stream of people through the door to taste it for themselves, which made it extremely worthwhile and a tremendous success.

“Food tourism is a huge part of our wider tourism offer, with local produce that is unique to our county which we’re immensely proud of. Our trip to Westminster helped increase awareness of that and we sent an open invitation to those attending to visit Northumberland to find out for themselves.”

The producers were delighted with the success of their trip.

Jackie Maxwell from Doddington Dairy in  said: "We thoroughly enjoyed the day in Westminster, showcasing the Produced in Northumberland scheme to the heart of government. Northumberland is stunning, and being able to represent this amazing county is a huge privilege.”
All four Northumberland MPs put aside their political differences to support the event - Anne-Marie Trevelyan; Ian Lavery; Guy Opperman and Ronnie Campbell - and were able to find out more about the fantastic local businesses, and top quality produce that is being promoted under the Produced In Northumberland brand. MPs from every corner of the UK visited the exhibition representing areas from Kent to Coatbridge in Scotland.

Joe Evans, Marlish Water: "It was a great event and very well organised. It's our first time visiting the Houses of Parliament, so we felt quite honoured to come down and be part of it. We had a great response from everybody who tried our products - we met loads of MPs from all over the country, but especially the northern MPs, and all of our local MPs. If we had a follow-up event in the county, it would be a great way for some of the venues to show themselves off too."

Mark Turnbull from family-run butchers Turnbulls of Alnwick added: "It was a fantastic day - and it was great exposure for Produced in Northumberland. It was nice to get a bit of recognition and I hope this will be a springboard to something special. We see the food and drink industry as very much linked to tourism and something we should be proud of."

The eight-strong Produced in Northumberland members that headed to Westminster included: Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes, Doddington Dairy, Kitty’s Homemade Ginger, Lindisfarne Mead and Alnwick Rum, Marlish Water, the Northumbrian Bakehouse, The Old Boathouse Food Group, and Turnbulls of Alnwick.

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Pictured:  Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP for Berwick upon Tweed; Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council; Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Adam Bedford, Regional Director, National Farmers Union
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