The Food and Drink iNet (Innovation Network) is flying the flag for East Midlands produce this week at London’s famous Borough Market.
The organisation is showcasing food and drink produced by 15 firms from across the region in the capital on Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 21st, 22nd and 23rd.
The move is part of a pilot project designed to look at how firms can collaborate by working together to achieve goals that wouldn’t be possible on their own. If successful, it could lead to a more regular presence for East Midlands products at the market in south east London, which specialises in quality food with provenance.
“Borough Market is a world-famous market, renowned for its food and drink stalls, but it’s out of reach for many of the small, artisan producers of the East Midlands for a variety of reasons, such as cost and logistics,” said Food and Drink iNet director, Richard Worrall.
“The Food and Drink iNet is bringing 15 of the region’s producers together to showcase their products on an East Midlands stall to see how a collaborative project can help overcome distribution problems and other challenges that they would face if doing something like this on their own.
“It will give us the chance to look at how they can tap into new markets and hopefully grow their businesses. For the vast majority of the firms, it’s their first taste of selling at Borough Market.”
The team also wants to highlight the unique cultural diversity of food and drink in the East Midlands, and has a selection of producers selling a range of items including ethnic foods, chocolate and smoked products.
The iNet, which is funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is working with Nottingham-based logistics firm 5PL Limited to look into how a collaborative distribution service could work in the future for small firms wishing to sell at London markets.
Firms taking part in the iNet’s Borough Market project are:
From Leicestershire, beef and lamb producer Blackbrook Traditional Meats, from Coalville, cheese producer Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, from Upton, Indian flat breads firm Apni Roti, from Leicester, and fresh curry sauces firm the Tiffin Food Company, from Leicester .
From Lincolnshire, smoked products company Smith’s Smokery, from Boston, cured meat producer Rectory Reserve, from Horncastle, The Chocolate Pizza Company, from Crowland, cold-pressed rapeseed oil producer Mimosa Market, from Grantham, and Lincolnshire plum bread producer Moden’s, from Spilsby.
From Nottinghamshire, curry sauce and accompaniments producer Ghar Ka Khana, from Nottingham, and Mexican food producer Rico Mexican Kitchen, from Southglade Food Park.
From Derbyshire, smoked products company Redwood Smokery, from Bolsover, and truffles producer Bittersweet Chocolates, from Melbourne.
From Rutland, authentic Thai sauce firm Tuk Tuk, from Stamford.
From Northamptonshire, quirky accompaniments producer The Pickled Village, from Bulwick.
The stall at Borough Market will be manned by an independent individual, with support from Food and Drink iNet advisors and staff from East Midlands business support organisation The Food and Drink Forum.
The Food and Drink iNet is one of four regional iNets developed to link academic and private sector expertise and knowledge with local food and drink business innovation needs.
The Food and Drink iNet aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes. It is managed by a consortium, led by the Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. For more information visit www.eminnovation.org.uk/food
For more information please contact the Food and Drink iNet on firstname.lastname@example.org
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