A scheme designed to promote food and drink from Northumberland has been backed by a senior cabinet minister at Westminster.
And Environment secretary Michael Gove MP believes the county council’s Produced in Northumberland project has the potential to fly the flag for the county around the world.
The initiative awards a trademark to producers whose goods are made in the county and also encourages ethical and sustainable production.
Mr Gove was presented with a range of Northumberland goods – including Hepple Gin, Marlish Tonic Water, cheeses, meats and other items – by the Conservative leader of the Northumberland local authority, Peter Jackson, ahead of an exhibition hosted by the council in the House of Commons in May.
“It is vital in this period of change for British agriculture that farmers and producers know they have the support of both Government and local councils behind them,” Mr Gove said.
“That is why initiatives like Produced in Northumberland from Northumberland County Council are so important.
“I was delighted to receive a small sample of Northumbrian fare and look forward to seeing the impact of the Produced in Northumberland scheme, which has the potential to fly the flag for Northumbrian producers all over the world.”
Coun Jackson said the Produced in Northumberland scheme has already proved popular in the county and he was pleased with the Secretary of State’s backing.
He added: “We are keen to show the world what Northumberland has to offer and we are hopeful this scheme will enable us to do that to the benefit of everyone in the county.
“We firmly believe our food and drink is fantastic and wanted to prove it to Mr Gove.
“I am delighted he has given his support and we look forward to working with him in the future on this scheme and others.”