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18.01.06
Southwest company sources local school dinners

Children at Okehampton Primary School tuck into dinners made with locally sourced meatScorse Foods Ltd based in Helston, Cornwall has been awarded the contracts to source and supply meats to county council schools in Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Cornwall.

The company which was set up in 1975 has received help and support from Business Link for the past five years. It has enabled them to expand their premises, build new loading bays and wash areas, and invest in equipment such as fork lift trucks and delivery vehicles.

Jeremy Lovelock is one of the company's five directors. He says their principles about local sourcing fit in well with Devon County Council's 'Fresh Start' initiative for better quality school meals. "We have always sourced our beef, pork and lamb from good quality local suppliers, such as Jaspers, Premier Lamb, Madron Meats, and Lloyd Maunder. We always try to ensure that whenever possible, we source within the Westcountry.

"We first went to Business Link about 5 years ago and the help and advice we've received from them has always been of an excellent standard. It's important to the company to be able to maintain sustainable continuous growth rather than get too big, too quickly and that's exactly what we're doing. The Business Link Cornwall Food and Drink Partnership Scheme has helped us to invest in the new premises and equipment which has increased our potential for growth. We're a successful company with an excellent reputation and are looking to continue our development at the same sustainable rate in the future."

Manager of Business Link's Food and Drink Programme, Graham Woolcock, says: "It's satisfying to be able to help a local company which is having such a positive impact throughout the region. Scorse Foods is a thriving business itself but is also passing on economic benefits to local meat producers. And the idea of locally sourced high quality meat is something which is becoming more and more important to parents who want to see their children eating as healthily as possible."

Devon County Council's 'Fresh Start' menu is a return to home cooked style food which will improve the quality of meals for schoolchildren. 24 Devon schools took part in the pilot, with an additional 92 schools joining the scheme this term. The council aims to be running 'Fresh Start' in another 169 schools by the end of the academic year.

For further information please contact Maxine McAdams on 01566 771862 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

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

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria Ford, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

Business Link
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA. Business Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and grow.

Cornwall Food and Drink Partnership Scheme
Business Link, in partnership with Cornwall Taste of the West, is offering capital grants of up to 50% of eligible costs for businesses in Cornwall's Objective One area. Open to food and drink and primary agricultural producers. (Not available for fish producers). Funding is available for capital/processing equipment; expansion projects; support for new product lines; chillers and freezers, etc. It is funded by Objective One.

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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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