Conference debates future of county's food producers

By Tim Aldred

21 Nov 2022

taste-lancashire-hairy-biker.jpg

Marketing Lancashire gathered more than 100 representatives from the red rose county's food, hospitality and tourism industry to talk about the challenges facing businesses and to inspire debate about the future.

The Taste Lancashire conference, held at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe,  followed events held in 2017 and 2019. It exists to celebrate, inform and inspire debate amongst the county’s successful and growing food and drink sector; with particular emphasis on boosting the county’s millions of visitors with more gourmet travellers and food lovers.

Si King, whose Lancashire tour in 2021 for Hairy Bikers Go North heped raise the profiles of several Lancashire food producers, sat on one of the expert panels which were chaired by BBC Radio 4’s Caz Graham also included Oli Martin, chef, and representatives of Goosnargh Gin, the Cartford Inn and Bowland & Bay.

Paul Hargreaves, CEO of wholesaler Cotswold Fayre and renowned business author delivered the keynote speech, with speakers from VisitBritain/VisitEngland sharing insights into world perceptions of British food & drink and best practice when hosting international visitors. 

The event, which was funded by the Lancashire County Council Rural Recovery Fund showcased some of the county’s finest producers so that delegates could taste and learn more about their products, with a view to establishing new relationships and encouraging new contracts and supplier agreements. 

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “This was a packed event illustrating some of our amazing producer’s food, creativity and innovation which makes the county so special and puts us firmly on the gastronomic map.

“The speakers debated the challenges, what support is out there for producers, upcoming food trends and offered practical advice and inspiration to guests.”

Experts from the Department for International Trade, Lancaster University, National Farmers’ Union and Booths also contributed to a wide-ranging discussion on hot topics related to food & drink; from farm-to-fork production, the changing tastes and expectations of consumers, being a better business and how, in these uncertain times, we can market more Lancashire produce overseas.  

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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