Choose Cornish

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Organisers of Cornwall’s biggest celebration of food and drink have announced that the festival will be the launch pad for a new campaign – Choose Cornish – intended to generate millions of pounds for the local economy.Eagerly anticipated by food lovers, Cornwall Food & Drink Festival transforms Truro’s Lemon Quay into an annual hubbub of feasting and fun from 28 – 30 September.

With around 40 chefs and food experts giving a packed programme of masterclasses and demonstrations over the three days, the festival attracts over 40,000 people and provides a significant financial boost to the Cornish economy.

The hidden value of the festival is the benefit it generates for the local economy. Not just about the trade on the day, but the longer term business that it kick-starts.

All the restaurants that take part in the demonstrations and in our new fixed price Festival Menu feature, get exposure not just on Lemon Quay but also via our enormous publicity campaign that reaches millions of people and has an advertising value equivalent to more than £100k. We know too that the festival attracts thousands of visitors who plan their holiday or day trip to Cornwall around it.  Taking all this into account, we are confident that the festival is easily worth at least £1 million to Cornwall.”

Free to enter, the festival is a great place to discover new recipes and pick up tips galore from the professionals at work on the two stages.

Visitors will hear from renowned specialists at the top of their game such as Nathan Outlaw, whose two Michelin-starred restaurant at Rock is rated within the top five in the UK; or Dairy Crest’s chief cheese grader, Mark Pitts-Tucker, the man who perfects the hugely popular Davidstow cheddars.For those who prefer to shop, 60 exhibitors will be showing why the county has a reputation for such a wide range of top quality food and drink. From traditional favourites such as pasties, clotted cream and saffron cake to the contemporary style of designer chocolates, award-winning drinks, artisan charcuterie and breads, all tastes will be satisfied and all thirsts will be quenched.

Alongside all the fun, Cornwall Food & Drink are taking steps to prolong the beneficial impact of the festival with the launch of their new “Choose Cornish” campaign. The scheme is intended to reinvigorate people’s interest in using local suppliers.

Ruth Huxley, director of Cornwall Food & Drink, explains: “We all have choices about what we buy and where we buy it from; that’s why we’ve called it ‘Choose Cornish’. We want to encourage people to make an active decision to do just that. Very small changes by people or businesses individually can make a massive collective impact. For example, if everybody who lives in Cornwall spent just an extra 50p of their weekly grocery budget on local produce from a local supplier, it would deliver well over £10 million into Cornwall’s economy in a year.”

The campaign will launch in the stunning setting of Truro Cathedral on Thursday 27th September, when over 100 invited guests will enjoy a Cornish cream tea that also celebrates the start of the festival and supports the cathedral’s Inspire appeal.

The fact that even the tea itself can be sourced from Cornwall makes this a fitting occasion to convey the essence of this campaign.

To all intents and purposes, this is a ‘buy local’ campaign and that’s nothing new, however one of the effects of the current recession has been a shift of focus, away from all the well proven benefits of keeping business local to messages that are all about cheapness rather than real value for money. Kim Conchie, recently appointed Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce adds:“We want to rectify that, but we also want to make sure this campaign produces some quantifiable benefits and not just hot air, so we will be introducing some targets and measuring the impact of the campaign. We’re going to take a good look at actual prices too, because we’re certain that ‘local’ doesn’t have to mean ‘expensive’ at all.”

The Festival Marquee on Lemon Quay opens at 9.00 am on Friday 28th September. For full details of the festival, visit www.cornwallfoodanddrink.co.uk/festival2012.

The Choose Cornish campaign

The campaign is being launched at Cornwall Food & Drink Festival and will continue until Royal Cornwall Show 2013.  The campaign’s objectives are to:

  • Improve the impact of local business and consumer spending on the county’s economy.
  • Improve trade for Cornish businesses over the slow months.
  • Reduce the environmental impact of Cornwall’s business community.
  • Develop a mentality that chooses Cornish first.
  • Potentially make local businesses more competitive and more efficient by increasing their sales volumes to enable them to make economies of scale.

A range of initiatives and outputs are being devised by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Cornwall Food & Drink. Other partners are welcome to get involved too.

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