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28.09.03
Organic is on the menu at Eden

A dedicated Organic Development Officer has been appointed to the Eden Project team to work with local farmers and food businesses to create opportunities for local producers to supply Eden with high quality Cornish organic food and drink.

The new post has been created from the partnership between Eden and the Soil Association's £1.2 million Organic South West project, which has received joint investment from Objective One and DEFRA.

Organic South West provides support, information and advice to existing and new organic businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, working specifically on developing new markets and supply chains to maintain a profitable sector.

The appointment of an Organic Development Officer at Eden is the project's latest commitment to boosting the regional market for quality, locally grown organic products in the region by working with local attractions and businesses.

Charlotte Russell, regional manager for Soil Association Organic South West said: "Eden has already developed close links with the food and farming community in Cornwall and purchases locally sourced goods wherever possible.

"The initiative will provide a great opportunity for its visitors to further explore the interdependence between plants and people through the story of organic food production, so creating awareness of the links between food, farming and the environment."

Eden has established a firm commitment to source organic food for its restaurants and shops in association with agreed plans with Cornish producers. Clare Gardner, the newly appointed Organic Development Officer will develop this objective within Eden and the wider community.

Claire Gardner said: ''We aim to inspire the commercial development of organic products in the region which will secure new and additional economic benefits for Cornwall, as well as increasing public awareness of organic and sustainable living."'

With National Organic Week between 4-12 October, visitors to Eden will be encouraged to sample the delights of organic food for themselves next week at food tasting sessions held in the indigo tent at the bottom of the pit.

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Editor's notes:

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.

EAGGF aims to:

Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land
Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas
Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas
Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas
Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage

For further information contact:

Charlotte Russell
Organic South West: 01579 371147

Clare Gardner
Eden project: 01726 811900 ext 5203

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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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