Taste North East gives some food for thought
PUBLISHED: 12:41 09 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:15 20 February 2013
A not-for-profit membership group has been launched to support those involved in the North East's regional food and drink sector Words By Sue Campbell
A new not-for-profit membership group has come into being in the North East, combining the cream of business services with support and discounted products for everyone involved in the regional food and drink sector.
Taste North East Limited has been formed by merging Taste NE, The North England Food and Drink Group, a project to improve the regions food and drink sector funded by ONE North East and its host organisation, Northumbria Larder, the organisation for local food and drink producers.
United as the regions sole food and drink organisation, Taste North is not just a new name; the brand new membership organisation is bringing a whole fresh look and feel to promoting the North Easts food and drink sector.
Northumbria Larder and Taste North East are bringing the best from their individual bodies to champion and support everyone involved in the local food and drink sector, from artisan bakers to visitor attractions, hotels and retailers.
In the tough economic climate, Taste North East will be a self-sustaining membership body that no longer needs to rely on public funding to survive.
Via a menu of services and membership packages starting from 75, companies can access advice on a range of issues such as skills and training, technical and compliance or marketing as well as assistance in identifying routes to markets. Members can also draw on an online Ask the Expert facility with an evolving range of expertise available.
Henry Roberts, Taste North chairman, said: I am delighted that we are bringing the two groups together in a new organisation that has the interests of all those businesses connected to the food and drink sector at heart.
In establishing Taste North East, we have cherry-picked the core strengths from Northumbria and Taste North East. A key feature of this new food and drink organisation is that membership and support is open to all businesses working within the food and drink sector, including accommodation providers, retailers and restaurants.
Outgoing Taste North East chair Sir Donald Curry said: We are very proud
of the achievements of Taste NE over the period of its contract, in raising the profile of food and drink businesses in the region and helping them to grow and find new markets as well as stimulating demand for local produce.
I am delighted that this new group will take that success forward and continue to help put this region on the map, as food and drink is of fundamental importance to the economy of our region, local job creation and plays a huge part in driving the tourism agenda.
Taste North East will champion the North Easts food and drink industry on behalf of members and spread the word both regionally and further afield about what members can bring to the table. Above all, it aims to raise standards across the board to help the North Easts food and drink sector become recognised as one of the best in the UK.
Businesses can join one of three tiers of membership: bronze, silver and gold, with prices starting at 75.