Getting a taste for local food

Pictured, from left, are Coun Jim Smith, Susan Davey (Northumberland Tourism Board) and Val Tyler, Northumberland County Council cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture.
Pictured, from left, are Coun Jim Smith, Susan Davey (Northumberland Tourism Board) and Val Tyler, Northumberland County Council cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture.

A new verification scheme to celebrate and promote food and drink produced entirely in Northumberland has been officially launched.

It aims to raise the profile, value and public confidence in the county’s produce and around 20 businesses have already signed up.

Produced in Northumberland is a joint initiative between the county council, Active Northumberland and Northumberland Tourism.

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of the county council, said the authority hopes that by encouraging local businesses to use Northumberland produce, it will help reduce food miles, lead to increased production and sales within the local economy and ultimately create more jobs in the area.

Producers will have to prove to visiting trading standards and environmental health staff that the food and drink is made in Northumberland.

B&Bs and other hospitality businesses will have to show that a certain number of main foods on their menus is produced in Northumberland. Retailers will need to ensure a proportion of their food and drink is made in the county by a range of different producers.

Businesses will then be able to display the official Produced in Northumberland certificate on their premises and they can use the logo on labels, websites and literature.

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We know that visitors to Northumberland are looking for authentic experiences that can only be found here.

“This scheme will make it easier for them to find our unique food and drink products and encourage them to choose local options, increasing the sales of participating producers.”