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13.11.07
Cornishman finalist for UK Farming Personality of the Year

A Cornishman has been announced as a finalist at the Food and Farming Industry Awards 2007 on Friday 16th November, which will take place at the House of Commons. Roy Heath, sustainable food procurement manager at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, is competing for the category "Food Farming Personality of the Year".

Roy has worked with the NHS to initiate a programme that seeks to provide locally sourced, fresh produce for hospital patients. Since beginning in 2002, the programme has supported local suppliers and growers. Sourcing locally has enabled them to reduce 'food miles' – the distance food has travelled.

Supported by Objective One and the Soil Association, Roy and Mike Pearson, project manager, have forged links within Cornwall to reduce 'carbon footprinting' and create environmental awareness throughout the region.

The award, sponsored by McDonalds, was won last year by Padstow based chef Rick Stein. This year, Roy hopes to bring the award back to Cornwall again. The awards ceremony recognises those in the food and farming industry that have promoted British food through buying from small-scale rural producers. The Cornwall Food Programme also encourages healthy eating through purchasing fresh, organic produce.

On being nominated for the award, Roy said: "I'm very honoured to be nominated as personality of the year. It has always been a pleasure to work on the Cornwall Food Project where we can support local suppliers and growers. The new challenges for training and food awareness amongst our own employees, schools and others is something I truly believe in and I hope, given the opportunity, to take this concept further."

Lezli Boswell, chief executive of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust said: "I am delighted that Roy has become a finalist! He has put every effort into supporting the RCHT's projects and has been committed to turning around the age-old myth of tasteless hospital food."

Having worked with many organisations and projects including the RAF and Eden Project, Roy eventually came to work for the NHS with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) in 2004.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, says: "The Partnership Office offers its warmest congratulations to Roy. After all his hard work this is well deserved. It's important to recognise and praise the efforts of Cornwall's finest. Maintaining a link between the NHS and the community is crucial to the sustainability of the region."

Roy will compete against seven other finalists for the award this Friday in London.

For further information please contact Kate Williams, Ashley Public Relations, on 01579 370991.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Cornwall NHS Food Programme through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

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Editor's notes:

Roy first worked in the RAF for 24 years, representing the RAF in Catering competitions gaining National and International Awards throughout that time. Being made redundant in 2000 gave Roy the drive to start two companies and find work with the Eden Project a year later as Chef Production Manager.

Cornwall Food Programme

The Cornwall Food Programme is a commitment from the five local NHS trusts, to provide fresh healthy food for patients and to support local suppliers, growers and producers. The trusts offer long term contracts to encourage local businesses to develop and grow.

The programme is dependent upon and grateful for the support of Objective One, The Soil association, Organic Southwest, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, Department of Health, Regional Development Agency, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Food and Farming Industry Awards 2007

Other finalists competing for the award include:

  • Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones
  • Brian Pack
  • James Hague
  • Peter Kendall
  • Christine Tacon
  • Miriam Parker
  • Rob Drysdale

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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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