Northumbria Larder - Serving up support for North East foodies
PUBLISHED: 12:59 15 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:01 20 February 2013
The region's food and drink businesses - particularly the small and medium sized operations - need all the help they can get to weather the economic storms.
When it comes to business, the North East has a whole raft of small and medium sized operations. Whats often not realised is that in one sector of business that of food and drink more than 90 percent of operations fall into the SME category.
Henry Roberts, Chairman of Northumbria Larder, the organisation that supports food and drink producers in the North East, said recently that the food and drink sector was one of the North Easts most valuable, vibrant and growing industries.
It certainly is and its vital to the region that we support them.
Northumbria Larder recently announced a major revamp of its services for members along with far-reaching plans to expand its overall membership offer.
Under the new structure, members will receive a raft of new business services and access savings on key products and tools designed to bolster trading and bring about financial savings.
The revamp will also see Northumbria Larder broaden its membership base to include hospitality, food service, retailers, wholesale and catering businesses.
Mr Roberts said: These are challenging economic times for everyone and having the safety net of access to strong support packages, practical industry advice and savings, specific to the food and drink sector will make a real difference to businesses and their performance.
He said they wanted to expand both the support and reach of Northumbrian Larders services to become inclusive of all businesses involved in the food and drink arena, including retailers, visitor attractions, pubs, hotels and bed and breakfast providers.
This move forward in our membership criteria will enable us to work with, support and champion an even greater proportion of those involved in the food and drink sector, one of the North Easts most valuable, vibrant and growing industries.
Among the new services being offered include a regularly updated business directory, access to practical industry advice, sector focused seminars, savings from suppliers such as reduced advertising costs, marketing material design and print, insurance and utility bills, plus the availability of an Ask the Expert service.
A new Northumbria Larder website will function as an information hub and go-to resource for potential buyers.
Award-winning ice cream producers Wheelbirks Dairy in Stocksfield in Northumberland are members of Northumbria Larder. Wheelbirks owner Hugh Richardson said: The Larder is being proactive in creating business benefits for members and I think the future - though challenging - is going to be an exciting time for the Larder, its members, producers and those throughout the North Easts food and drink sector.
Small businesses like ourselves will be especially interested if the new membership services will help them make savings in areas such as utility bills and in receiving specific support such as sales and promotional help to sell our products.
Northumbria Larders new membership offer was to be launched last month. Lets hope the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
For further details on Northumbria Larder membership visit www.northumbria-larder.co.uk