Chapel Down and Bath Soft Cheese among Defra’s shining Food Stars
Fifty up-and-coming food entrepreneurs were brought together at Defra’s HQ in London today (Febuary 26) for the launch of a scheme to help them expand their businesses both in the UK and in export markets.
The Food Stars programme will see the 50 firms – most of them Great Taste award winners – receive a package of support from the Food & Drink Federation and Cranfield University over the next year.
The chosen companies include Bath Soft Cheese Co (supreme champion in the 2014 World Cheese Awards), Hebridean salmon smoker Uig Lodge (Speciality Producer of the Year in Great Taste 2014) and Scarlett & Mustard (Best Newcomer in 2014’s Investec Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year).
Three English wine producers – Camel Valley, Chapel Down and Ridgeview – were also among those earmarked for growth.
Former Sainsbury CEO Justin King and Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO Dame Fiona Kendrick were among leading food industry figures who joined Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss at the launch event.
Truss said: “As a country we’ve always been a place where sparky entrepreneurs come up with great innovations in food and drink, people with the ambition to grow and take on the world.
“Now is the time to celebrate that success which is helping grow our economy – that is why we’ve created Food Stars to recognise the bright innovators of today and support them to become the major players of tomorrow.
“From chutney made from fruit and veg that would otherwise be thrown away, to chorizo made from British pigs in Yorkshire, our 50 Food Stars truly represent the best of British and demonstrate the creativity and determination in which this country takes pride.”
Yorkshire chorizo maker Three Little Pigs and North Wales-based Patchwork Paté – both of which are sponsoring the Guild of Fine Food’s charcuterie promotional campaign for 2015-16 – were also among the Food Stars announced today.
The 50 firms were able to showcase their products at a lunchtime trade show in Defra’s Smith Square offices, then attended a series of masterclasses on topics ranging from exporting to social media.
Click here for an interactive map of Defra’s Food Stars.