Taste Lancashire is a sell-out success

Taste Lancashire 2017, the county’s first food and drink conference, has been a sell-out success with celebrity guest speakers and thought-provoking debate.

The sold-out event was organised by Marketing Lancashire and held at Holmes Mill, in Clitheroe.

Proceedings began with a keynote speech from renowned  food writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner, who offered insight on attracting national journalists to Lancashire, and issued a rousing warning against the ubiquitous use of the word ‘local’ without due quality control, citing a south coast pub who advise customers that they serve ‘local when best’.

A busy day of expert panels and case studies followed, covering topics as broad as Brexit, branding, food marketing and exporting, with advice and insight from industry leaders Nigel Haworth, Michelin-starred chef at Northcote, Alastair Sawday of Sawday’s Travel, food consultant Helen Colley, travel-writer and blogger Zoe Dawes and many more.

Paul Williams, founder of artisan chocolatiers Choc Amor based at Cedar Farm in Mawdesley, hosted an inspiring case study on his business turnaround from redundancy to thriving SME.

Speaking after the event, he said: “Lancashire has many fantastic local artisan producers and events like this help to showcase the level of quality in the county. These producers contribute to the local economy, help create employment and put Lancashire on the world map."

Developed in partnership with the Department for International Trade, Taste Lancashire 2017 aimed to challenge, inspire and celebrate the county’s food and drink economy.

The food and drink sector is one of Lancashire’s key strengths and a leading theme in the county’s Visitor Economy Strategy to grow annual visitor numbers to 70 million by 2020.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Taste Lancashire 2017 brought together the county’s food and drink community for an inspiring, thought-provoking and very rewarding day.

“Conversations, collaborations and new deals were struck at the conference with Marketing Lancashire reaffirming our commitment to establishing Lancashire as a must-visit food destination. We’ve certainly succeeded in amplifying messages of quality and excellence across the sector, taking Lancashire to London for Lancashire Day in 2016 and now, creating the first Taste Lancashire food and drink conference." Taste Lancashire 2017 was produced in association with BOOST, Lancashire’s business growth hub and Burnley-based Coolkit, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of fridge van conversions. The event was generously supported by Holmes Mill, part of the James’ Places Group.