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08.05.03
£1 million marketing investment for Cornish food and drink

'Think big and shout loud' is the message to Cornish food and drink producers from Cornwall Taste of the West, which has a fund of almost £1 million available as marketing investment for local businesses.

The scheme has so far allocated more than £650,000 to food and drink businesses across Cornwall. However, this still leaves a pot of almost £1m available to be claimed for public relations, design, exhibitions, market research and many other marketing-related activities which will help promote businesses and improve profit margins.

The Marketing Grants Scheme is part of Cornwall's Objective One Programme, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with contributions from the private sector. It is managed by Cornwall Taste of the West and can award grants of up to 50% for projects of up to £50,000.

According to Carol Trewin, manager of Cornwall Taste of the West, scheme applicants needn't be conservative in their plans. "Marketing is an essential part of putting Cornish food and drink on the map and we want this scheme to inspire people to think big and be ambitious, no matter what size their current operation is. Cornish food is confirmed as one of the major draws for visitors to the region which means that, given the right funding and advice, there's lots of scope for local food producers to market their products both here and beyond Cornwall's borders. We want to see this scheme turning more dreams into realities."

To qualify for the Marketing Grant Scheme businesses must operate within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One area; produce, sell or process quality food and drink (excluding fish); and demonstrate the benefits of grant funding for primary agricultural and horticultural producers.

The grant process includes a Fast Track route, which can return offers of up to 50% grants for projects of up to £3000 within a week. Grants for bigger projects – up to 50% of proposals worth up to £50,000 – usually take around two months to process. Businesses can also retain the services of an approved marketing consultant to help them develop their application for the grant scheme, and claim back 80-100% of the cost.

Items and services covered by the investment can include:

• public relations

• promotional literature

• new product development

• marketing strategy development

• distribution initiatives

• packaging design

• market research

• feasibility studies

• exhibitions

• export market plan

• direct mail campaigns

• e-commerce

Capital items for specific marketing activity can also be claimed (up to £5,000)

Case study – Treleavens Luxury Cornish Handmade Ice Cream

Having acquired Beddoes Luxury Cornish Ice Cream a year ago, Andrew Treleaven was interested to have feedback from suppliers, customers and the business community that a change in name to Treleavens – a very old Cornish name – would be well received. He decided to pilot the idea with a new shop in Tintagel.

Success depended on creating a completely new brand, for which he applied to Cornwall Taste of the West for a marketing investment. He obtained three quotes for each supply area – primarily design and signage – showed evidence of 50% match funding and got £6,000 Objective One investment.

The new shop opened on 7 April and is already proving a huge success. The new brand is carried through from fascia design and in-store graphics to point-of-sale and promotional material. Local design and signage companies were used to fulfil the project, and Andrew's now plans to change the Beddoes branded shops in Looe and Polperro to Treleavens, and possibly expand the brand to other new retail sites around Cornwall.

"We could not have done what we've done without the marketing grant,"
says Andrew Treleaven. "Creating and piloting the new brand has enabled us to see a way forwards, which will result in business growth, new employment opportunities and increased consumption of a product made with local ingredients. The application process may seem daunting, but it really is worth it. My message to other food and drink producers is to take full advantage of this opportunity, get their plans together and applications in."

Anyone wanting more information about the scheme, or advice on how to apply can contact Sue Sargent at Cornwall Taste of the West on 01579 349363.

For more press information contact Veronica Newport at npr on 01363 866188 or email veronica@npr1.co.uk.

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Editor's notes:

The Marketing Grants Scheme funds up to a maximum of 50% of project costs, but to be eligible the remaining 50% cannot come from another EU or public source of funding.

The Food and Drink Marketing Grants Scheme is managed by Cornwall Taste of the West. The project is part financed by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) of the European Union and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Cornwall Taste of the West is a £3 million Objective One umbrella project, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and private matched funding. It is part of the Taste of the West regional food group. Cornwall Taste of the West's four year project includes a trade development programme and a marketing grant scheme, available to small and medium sized food businesses that produce, sell or process foods in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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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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