Cornish Guild of Smallholders celebrates tenth birthday
Cornish Guild of Smallholders celebrated going into its tenth
successful year at the Lostwithiel Farmers' market on Friday
Shoppers and stallholders at the busy, twice-monthly market
were treated to cookery demonstrations, free food and drink
samples and a cake cutting ceremony.
Speakers at the event were Joy Cheeseman, CGOS founder; Carleen
Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership; Colin
Breed, Liberal Democrat MP, and Graham Woolcock, Business
Joy Cheeseman, CGOS founder, said: "There is a
story behind every stall and a market or a gathering of local
people like this is part and parcel of a sustainable rural
community. Lose this kind of thing altogether and we lose
the heart of the community. The more we encourage this kind
of development the more we lay a firm base for the economic
future of the Duchy."
CGOS offers opportunities for new producers to test the market
and provides an outlet where the public can source good quality,
locally produced food. Many of these very small businesses
that have joined CGOS have since successfully expanded. Others
already supply top stores but want to maintain local links.
As well as the regular stallholders some of the larger successes
were at the celebration including Trewithen Cornish Farm Dairy
and Cornish Orchards.
Many CGOS members have received Objective One investment
either directly or via gateway funds including Business Link
and Taste of the West Cornwall.
Carleen Kelemen said: "Over the last six years
more than £240 million of Objective One has been invested
in supporting better local produce, better food and better
quality. But I am not here today to talk about figures; I
am here to congratulate you for ten years of being some of
the best food producers in Cornwall, ten years of having the
courage to start your business.
"And I want to applaud Joy because she has been
the mentor for so many."
Colin Breed said: "If you don't use something
you lose it and it is because so many people come along and
use this market that I think it has made it the most successful
one in Cornwall.
"It is extremely important that we continue to
grow these markets not only for the local economy but to continue
distributing healthy food."
And Graham Woolcock added: "It is good to see some
of the bigger companies come back to celebrate this anniversary.
Small businesses have to take a gamble and it is encouraging
to see so many young people starting up in this business.
They have support but there is still another step that can
be taken – the CGOS committee wants to establish its
own base. This would be invaluable to the micro businesses
so please support CGOS in this aim."
Roy Heath, of the Cornwall NHS Food Programme stirred up
a fresh fish chowder using delicious Cornish produce. He said:
"I am all for local markets. The Cornwall Food Programme
uses local suppliers to bring this delicious, healthy food
into hospitals. I am hoping when the new central food production
unit is up and running we can involve even more of these smaller
David and Kirsty Sargent had a spectacular launch of Sargies
in May 2007 when they won the Best Newcomer Award at the CGOS
Pencarrow show (judged by Duchy College).
Their range includes sauces, flavoured butters, soups, lemon
curd, breads and puddings. The couple have two young children
and as well as attending three local produce markets (Bude
and Stratton, Lostwithiel and Okehampton) and shows David
still works for two and a half days a week as a chef and spends
one day cooking to supply restaurants. "Sunday is
the family day," he said. "I have always
been a chef and my aim is to open a delicatessen. I absolutely
love cooking and we started this business from home and are
building it up gradually. I heard of Joy Cheeseman and CGOS
through Sue Proudfoot, who makes cheeses, and that is how
we got into the market."
Rachel Clarke runs the family company Trewithen Cornish
Farm Dairy with husband Bill. Nine years ago Trewithen started
to sell produce at Lostwithiel and found it a useful test
bed for new lines. The company now supplies superstores including
Rachel explained: "The market was invaluable to
us because we were getting the chance to meet with the consumers.
We launched our crème fraiche here and realised there
was a demand for it. This market and CGOS have been nothing
David Rodda, from the Cornwall Agricultural Council, added:
"Farmers' markets are a very useful outlet
for local produce. They often act as an important first outlet
for farmers embarking on added value processing and provide
a testing ground for their products and marketing skills.
The Lostwithiel Farmers' Market has successfully brought
together the farming industry with a community that wants
to buy local food and the results speak for themselves."
For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media
Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership. Tel:
01872 223439 /07973 813647. Email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Cornish Guild of Smallholders
(CGOS) Development Programme through the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439