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Gloucestershire Business News

Cotswold Taste backing drive to promote local producers

An organisation promoting food and drink companies in the Cotswolds is among the founders of a group aiming to give the industry a collective voice in the wake of coronavirus and Brexit.

Cotswold Taste is one of more than 30 regional groups behind Food from England.

Representing more than 43,000 businesses, Food from England will provide small and medium-sized businesses with a platform to work with government agencies and department.

It aims to highlight the affects of Covid-19 and Brexit, identify ways to help the industry through both and encourage consumers to keep supporting local food and drink producers.

Cotswold Taste executive chair Nick Waloff said: "We're delighted to support Food from England.

"We hope that by working together, we can make a difference by helping our hard-pressed local producers, retailers and hospitality outlets to keep supplying all of us as consumers."

Cotswold Taste was created as a member-owned co-operative in 2016 to encourage reasonably priced, quality, locally sourced produce, promote the Cotswolds and support members.

Among almost 100 members are Stroud Brewery, Gloucester Biltong Company, The Cotswolds Distilling Company, Woodkraft Cheltenham, Severn Brewery Co and Sibling Distillery.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food and one of the Food from England founders, said: "The past eight months have seen disaster and innovation within the regional food and drink sector, possibly in equal measure.

"Consumers across the country are now realising the importance of connections across the food and drink supply chain, between makers, retailers and consumers - connections that have suddenly become more urgent, closer, simpler and friendly as a result of coronavirus."

Food from England will develop strategies for producers and artisans to help increase sales through independent retailers and agri-food tourism.

Mr Farrand said: "We need the support of the food and drink trade, but most of all we need the new shoppers who have recently discovered their local producers and independent retailers.

"By supporting your local deli, farm shop, butcher, cheese shop, community and village store, you can support your regional producers and your local pound."

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