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A helping hand for Cumbria’s food businesses

Why Made in Cumbria is offering a new route to market for the county’s food and drink producers
Rob Johnston

Made in Cumbria is pulling out all the stops to help the county’s food and drink producers this autumn.

The organisation, which is owned and run by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, exists specifically to assist food, drink and craft producers.

Membership is open only to those whose products are ‘wholly’ or ‘substantially’ manufactured and finished in Cumbria.

It runs workshops and offers advice to members and provides a year-round sales outlet through the Made in Cumbria shop in Branthwaite Brow, Kendal.

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “Cumbria is renowned for the excellence of its food and drink producers, many of them small artisan businesses with an ethos of quality.

“One of the difficulties they can face is persuading retailers to stock their products. We can help there with our Supply Chain Gateway project.

“This assists SMEs in overcoming barriers to procurement with larger retailers. One of our partners in this project is the supermarket Booths, which has a policy of sourcing food and drink locally. Indeed, we’re running an event with Booths for potential suppliers in January.

“Made in Cumbria also promotes members’ products directly through our shop and we work with them to develop their websites as a route to market. We can provide grants for this through our Subsidy Scheme.

“The bespoke hampers are a best seller and, understandably, sales peak at Christmas. These hampers are a shop window for food businesses, enabling them to reach new potential customers.”

He added: “We know that Cumbrian businesses like to support other Cumbrian businesses.  Buying these hampers as corporate gifts for clients is one way to do that. They make a unique and distinctively-Cumbrian gift.

“It’s a way of saying to clients, ‘We’re a Cumbrian business, we’re proud of that, and we’d like to share with you what makes our county so special’.”

To learn more about Made in Cumbria’s bespoke hampers, call Michelle Wiggins on 0845 226 0040 or email her here.

To find out about membership of Made in Cumbria click here.

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