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19.05.03
The Duke of Cornwall explores Cornish food and farming at Objective One showcase event

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall has praised the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for acting as a catalyst to bring lasting economic and social change to the region.

The Prince was speaking at an Objective One showcase event in Cornwall on May 7th where he was shown examples of Objective One investment in local food and drink, sustainable tourism and the creative industries.

The Prince took a tour around a range of exhibits which all demonstrated how Objective One investment has made real differences to the industries and businesses of Cornwall.

In an exhibit called 'Cooking Cornwall' the Prince commented on the smell of some locally produced sizzling sausages, and found out from Cornwall Taste of the West's manager Carol Trewin about the many high quality products produced in Cornwall. This included perfectly ripened juicy strawberries and a vast range of cheeses, after which the Prince sampled some Cornish apple juice.

Three of Cornwall's top young chefs; Ben Tunnicliffe of The Abbey in Penzance, Gareth Eddy of Pescadou restaurant in Padstow and Paul Ripley of Ripleys in St Merryn chatted to the Prince about the importance of putting quality local ingredients back on the Cornish Menu.

Pescadou's Chef Gareth Eddy said: "It was an honour to be invited to the event to show the Prince how local restaurateurs and businesses are recognising the environmental, taste and commercial advantages of sourcing ingredients locally.

"I was impressed by the Prince's in-depth knowledge of Cornish produce and was delighted that he shared our passion for sustainability, the quality of ingredients and an appreciation of product seasonality.”

In the Harvesting Cornwall exhibit the Prince learnt from St Austell Brewery's Managing Director James Staughton how the Maris Otter Barley used in their Tribute Bitter was sourced from local grain merchant Kernow Grain and grown by Cornish farmers. Produced at the family-owned brewery with 150 years of brewing history and one of only 34 independently owned breweries in the country.

David Simmons, Managing Director of Riviera produce, a West Cornwall vegetable grower and packaging company which works with 40 local growers to supply fresh fruit and vegetables locally and nationally commented on the Prince's interest in local agriculture: "The Prince was impressed with strawberries and potatoes on display and was told that both were Cornish new season crops, of which we were proud to tell him that our potatoes we were earlier than Jersey this year!

"The Prince was interested to hear how a marketing campaign is being used to push sales of Cornish earlies both locally and nationally and we discussed the importance of good marketing to boost growers incomes and replace imported produce currently on supermarket shelves.”

In another of the exhibition rooms that contained displays on how Cornwall's sustainable industries are being helped by Objective One, the Prince admired products made in Cornwall from local woodlands by local craftsmen.
Moving on from the exhibitions, the Prince heard from three young presenters about how Objective One is helping Cornwall's agricultural, fish and cultural industries as well as working with partners to conserve Cornwall’s natural environment.

Speaking to an invited audience of more than 100 guests, the Prince said: “Sixteen years ago at a conference in Newquay, I outlined what I thought were the challenges Cornwall needed to meet to improve the economic and social prospects for everyone in the years ahead. I have been enormously impressed today by the progress made with these challenges, particularly by advances in promoting Cornish grown and processed food and drink. I am also delighted to see food producers focusing on adding value to their products and, crucially, Objective One funds are providing financial support to enable them to do so.”

He said: “The marketing challenge, I believe, is for Cornwall not only to be, but to be seen to be flexible enough to respond to the opportunities presented by a changing world, without sacrificing the very foundations on which it is based.”

The Prince concluded by returning to the themes of his 1987 speech: “To return briefly to 1987, I argued that Cornwall required a major catalyst to bring all interested parties together to create a common determination to improve the economic and social prospects for everyone in the years ahead. I believe that Objective One is that catalyst, and I suspect partnerships have been forged that were unimaginable then.

“But Cornwall cannot afford to rest on its laurels, Objective One presents a finite window of opportunity, with no certainty at this stage that further funding will be available after 2006. I sincerely hope that it will be available, so that you can finish the job you have started.

“However, whatever happens, it is imperative to the success of Cornwall’s continuing evolution that whatever you do now must be both balanced and to have the highest standard and be designed to last, because, as our legacy to out children, it will have a lasting social and economic impact for years to come.”

Speaking after the Truro College event, which was held on Wednesday, Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: “The Prince took a close interest in the range of projects in which Objective One has invested. He was clearly impressed by the advances we have seen in Cornwall and Scilly in just a few short years. He was particularly interested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall and we will be keeping him informed of significant developments as they happen.”

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Editor's notes:

 

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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