Celebrating our unique and diverse offer
Supporting artisan producers
Helping businesses grow
Strengthening local supply chains
Promoting local produce
Engaging a vibrant community
Local Heroes Virtual Market
Last week Food and Drink North East (FADNE) consulted with over 165 food and drink producers from across our region. Asking them how the COVID-19 crisis will effect their businesses. The results were startling, to say the least, with many stating the resultant down-turn in trade would mean they could go out of business within one to three months.
The current crisis has changed everything, at least in the short-term, leaving many of our local producers fighting for survival. With retailers and routes to market closing down many are sitting on stock they cannot sell.
If something is not done to stimulate trade and kick-start cashflow we are at real risk losing many of our most innovative businesses. Devastating our regional economy and food identity as well as triggering job losses totalling anywhere between 750 and 1850+.
Food and Drink North East is creating the Local Heroes initiative. An online food market that promotes, sells and delivers high-quality local North East food and drink to homes and people across our region.
As well as helping local businesses large and small each Local Heroes order will include a 10-15% ‘community premium’ to ensure we can supply free boxes and meals to the most vulnerable and hardest hit in our communities such as low-income families, the socially isolated, NHS staff etc.
This initiative is a proactive and coordinated response. The aim is to connect local people to local food like never before. But time is of the essence if we are to help. Our plans are taking shape and we intend to launch next week.
We’re currently reaching out to potential suppliers and supporters. If you’d like to get involved please click the relevant button below to find out more.
North East producers can directly submit their details using this form.
The COVID-19 crisis
Over the past 48 hours, Food and Drink North East (FaDNE) has consulted its network of 500 food and drink businesses on likely resilience in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. So far, 150 businesses have provided powerful evidence of their trading confidence, as well as details of the support they need in order to sustain their businesses now, and into the future. We are sharing these headline findings through an open letter to Regional MPs, Government and leaders in an attempt to garner the level of support that is so desperately needed if our sector is to survive this crisis.
If you like to help please share this open letter with your MPs, councillors, business leaders, trade associations etc.
Steeped in an entrepreneurial history from the launch of Lucozade in 1927 through to iconic heritage brands such as Bero, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ringtons Tea and Primula Cheese.
Our region is recognised for its artisan producers such as Craster Kippers, Lindisfarne Oysters, acclaimed food growers as well as some of the best cheese and organic dairy in England.
We are now seeing an upsurge in craft producers and the growth of premium, entrepreneurial food and drink brands as well as progressive areas such as organic, ‘free from’ and Fairtrade as well as becoming a manufacturing hub and a leader in food and drink innovation.
We believe the time is right to come together. To engage this vibrant community. To focus our efforts, share knowledge and get the word out. To grow from the grassroots up.
Food and Drink North East is a community interest company (CIC) made up of local business owners and experts who understand the challenges the sector faces and is working together to solve them.
We’re not a fish – we’re the pond. A network that connects, enables and encourages collaboration across the region.
A movement of like-minded people who understand that when the tide comes in, all boats will rise.
Together we will build the North East’s reputation as a food and drink destination with heritage, sustainability, innovation and community at its heart.
Our work falls under four broad categories.
Taking a grassroots approach, we will work with local businesses across the sector to encourage collaboration and partnership, form a clear sense of regional identity and promote an ambitious food and drink offer that will help the North East compete both nationally and internationally.
We will launch an innovative trading hub that links food producers to buyers. Identifying, organising and facilitating trade missions to showcase the region’s food and drink credentials. Launching strategic partnerships that target specialist support to regional food and drink businesses.
We will lead the region’s contribution to the National Food Strategy Review. Creating cluster projects to promote growth, jobs and skills development. Forming cross-sector partnerships and a ‘good food business’ network to tackle the issues of food poverty, food waste and public health at a regional level.
We will become an independent industry voice, with influential cross-category representation and ‘fly the flag’ on behalf of the regional food and drink sector at a local, national and international level. Partnering and collaborating with other food movements to develop reciprocal relationships and share best practice.
“We discovered my grandfather’s recipe so my wife and I decided to try making his piccalilli. We shared the results with friends and family and the feedback was so great we knew we were onto something!”
Andrew Calder, Owner Calder’s Kitchen
“As a mum of two running a small business is hard work – but I love it! Being a small batch chocolatier enables me to be creative as well as hands-on. It’s also incredibly rewarding when customers enjoy our chocolate!”
Zoe Robertson, Good Tempered Chocolate Company
“Coming home to set up the first urban winery on Tyneside has been a dream come true. I’m one of the lucky ones who found their passion in life in winemaking and made it a reality. I’m so proud to share this with friends, family and the people of the North East.”
Elise Lane, The Winery by Laneberg Wine
Add your voice to ours and together we can make real change happen!
Currently, Food and Drink North East is entirely self-funded and resourced on the goodwill of our Board and partners.
FADNE is about ownership NOT membership. A thriving community of individuals, businesses and organisations working towards the same vision.
Please help us strengthen our voice in order to make our lobbying as effective as possible both regionally and nationally and to give us the mandate to push for change.
Get in touch
Food and Drink North East
c/o Studio 6, The Kiln,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 1AB
T: 0191 224 8919
Food and Drink North East is a community interest company (CIC). We aim to build a vibrant and engaged community that champions positive trade, promotes a sustainable circular economy and acts as a collective and inclusive voice for the region’s food and drink sector. Focussed on four strategic areas, our objective is to grow the sector’s contribution to the regional economy to 10% gross added value (GVA) by 2025.
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