A new scheme has been launched to recognise excellence in the food and drinks industry in the East Midlands.
The East Midlands Food and Drink Heroes campaign was launched on Tuesday at the Hanwell Wine Estate in Nottinghamshire. The scheme is the brainchild of East Midlands MEP, Rupert Matthews who felt the need to recognise some of the wonderful food and drink produced in the region.
At the launch event, he commented:
“When I first became an MEP, one of the issues which was brought up time and again was the need for the European protected food status to continue after Brexit. Because of this I began talking to large numbers of butchers, bakers and brewers throughout the East Midlands. It soon became apparent that the East Midlands is awash with superb locally produced food and drinks.
“It then got me thinking of ways we could promote great food and drinks products here in the East Midlands. It was only after talking to Helenka at the Hanwell Wine Estate did the idea come about for an excellence scheme, and so East Midlands Food and Drink Heroes was born.”
“For those living in the East Midlands there is a huge choice of the most amazing locally produced food and drink, we should be shouting about this! I hope this initiative will help people to connect with and enjoy the most delicious products whilst also supporting local businesses, it’s a win-win for everyone!”
The launch was attended by over 30 people from the local food and drinks industry, some of whom became the first East Midlands Food and Drink Heroes.
To qualify to become a Food or Drink Hero, producers are must prove that their products are produced in the East Midlands, using local ingredients where possible. By distinguishing these producers from the rest of the market, customers will clearly know that the produce is made in the East Midlands by artisans who know and understand what makes a quality product. Producers who become a Food or Drink Hero will receive an award from Rupert which they can then display to their customers.
The scheme is also planning to run several events around the region. Further information on the scheme can be found at: www.eastmidlandsfoodheroes.org.uk. Local food and drinks producers are encouraged to self-nominate via the website.