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30.07.07
Cornish Guild of Smallholders celebrates tenth birthday

Left to right: Graham Woolcock, Carleen Kelemen, Joy Cheeseman and Colin Breed, MPThe Cornish Guild of Smallholders celebrated going into its tenth successful year at the Lostwithiel Farmers' market on Friday (July 27th).

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 Link.

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 producers."

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 Waitrose.

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 but good."

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: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

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).

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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