Tasting a flavour of the north

Raising a glass to the launch of Taste North East at Blackfriars restaurant, chairman Henry Roberts (left) with Sir Donald Curry.
Raising a glass to the launch of Taste North East at Blackfriars restaurant, chairman Henry Roberts (left) with Sir Donald Curry.

A NEW regional food and drink group has been formed to support businesses in the face of public funding cuts.

Taste North East has been established by merging Taste NE, which was financed by One North East for four years to promote and develop the sector, and its host organisation Northumbria Larder.

But it is not just a new name as the group is also bringing a whole fresh look and feel to promoting the region’s food and drink sector at every level.

It will be a self-sustaining membership body as the regional development agency will be scrapped next year, and services on offer will be open to all aspects of the industry, providing support from initial start-up enterprises through to expanding companies.

Chairman Henry Roberts 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 Larder and Taste NE.

“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.

“If a business grows, makes, sells, prepares or serves food and drink then they are eligible to become Taste North East members. And by joining, businesses will become a part of the north east’s only food and drink network.”

Via a menu of services and membership packages companies can access advice on a range of issues, such as skills, training, technical, compliance and 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.

For more information visit www.tastenortheast.co.uk