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11.09.03
Best year yet for Cornish food and drink

If success is measured by awards, accolades and prizes, it's been a bumper year for Cornish food and drink which is on a winning streak both regionally and nationally. Award recognition on this scale is not only boosting morale according to the Objective One project Cornwall Taste of the West, but also business opportunities.

This Friday (12 September) one of Cornwall's leading smoked food companies, Cornish Cuisine, will be making its first delivery of roast smoked salmon to Fortnum and Mason's restaurant in London as a direct result of winning gold at Saturday's Great Taste Awards – known as the fine food Oscars.

"We're a small operation, like many Cornish food businesses," says Nigel Ekins, who runs Cornish Cuisine with his son in Penryn near Falmouth, "so recognition at this level can get us valuable exposure to buyers and customers. The Fortnum and Mason contract is a big deal for us, and winning gold is what helped secure it."

This sentiment is endorsed by Bob Lindo of Camel Valley Vineyard near Bodmin, winner of the prestigious Wine of the Year trophy at Saturday's South West Wine of the Year competition. "Winning is everything. Having your product independently judged excellent or the best means so much more than if it's just written on the packaging. We've found the business has grown as a direct result of cumulative award wins, prizes, reviews and independent recommendations. Awards win credibility, which in turn wins business."

Recently returned from the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at Olympia in London, which hosted the Great Taste Awards, Cornwall Taste of the West manager Carol Trewin believes the value of these awards and associated events provides Cornish producers with prime shop window opportunities.

"Awards definitely help get products noticed, and Cornwall's winning streak is well deserved," she says. "However, more advantage could be taken of specialist food events. They can help get producers exposure even if they're unable to attend – that's what we're there for. The quality of Cornish food and drink products is improving at such a rate, it's only complacency that will stunt the Cornish food industry's growth."

Cornwall is literally teeming with recent award winners, which include:

GREAT TASTE AWARDS (SATURDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER)

Primrose Herd, Redruth – premium pork products from rare breed pigs
Gold – Cumberland type sausages
Gold – green, dry cured back bacon

Cornish Cuisine, Penryn near Falmouth – smoked fish, meat and cheese
Gold – organic smoked salmon
Gold – roast smoked salmon
Silver – smoked salmon
Bronze – smoked eel
Bronze – fish platter

Kelly's of Cornwall, Bodmin – luxury ice cream
Gold – luxury dairy summer fruit and cream ice cream
Gold – luxury dairy vanilla ice cream

SOUTH WEST WINE OF THE YEAR (SATURDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER)

Camel Valley Vineyard, Nanstallon, Bodmin – producer of quality wines
Wine of the Year – Camel Valley 2002 Bacchus Quality Wine

NANTWICH INTERNATIONAL CHEESE SHOW (JULY)

Cornish Country Larder, Newquay – speciality cheeses and Cornish brie
Gold – Cornish organic brie

TASTE OF THE WEST AWARDS (JULY)

Trenance Cottage Tea Room and Gardens, Newquay
South West Tea Room of the Year

Muffins Tea Room, Lostwithiel
Silver – hospitality awards

Cornish Farmhouse Bacon Company
Best of Meat - beech smoked streaky bacon

Anyone interested in attending or being represented at shows, exhibitions or events in 2004 should contact Cornwall Taste of the West on 01579 349363 or visit www.cornwalltasteofthewest.co.uk

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Editor's notes:

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 grants scheme, available to small and medium sized food businesses that produce, sell or process foods in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Veronica Newport
npr
Tel: 01363 866927
Fax: 01363 866093
Mob: 07808 063053

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Jason Clark
Communications Adviser
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
objectiveone@cornwall.gov.uk

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