Food Fair 2013
Record 15,600 Visitors Enjoy Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair 2013
A record number of visitors enjoyed the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair at the weekend.
Derbyshire County Council held its twelfth annual event on Saturday and Sunday, staging it in the grounds of its Elvaston Castle and Country Park for the first time.
And 15,600 visitors enjoyed a weekend of culinary celebration which included around 150 stalls selling produce from Derbyshire and further afield.
Celebrity chefs Valentine Warner and Rosemary Shrager shared their skills in the cookery theatre and there were demonstrations throughout the weekend by leading local chefs.
Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: ďWe had a fantastic weekend at our Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair, which continues to go from strength-to-strength.
"The fair was launched over a decade ago to support our food and drink producers and boost the local economy, and thatís what it does - bringing together 15,600 potential customers in one weekend.
"It was great to meet so many innovative and talented Derbyshire business people. Many of them told me that they'd established links with other producers to do business together and keep spend local.
"And it was good to see so many families supporting local businesses by coming to the fair and enjoying a superb weekend of entertainment."
Toyota Motor Corporation sponsored the Japanese Pavilion which was staffed by visitors from Toyota City in Japan who are visiting the county to celebrate 15 years of twinning with Derbyshire. They greeted visitors with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, sake and snacks.
McArthur Glen East Midlands Designer Outlet sponsored the cookery theatre for the second year running and Midlands Co-operative Society sponsored the event for the fourth year running.
Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair was launched by the county council in 2002 to showcase local produce and has previously been held at Bolsover Castle, Kedleston Hall and Hardwick Hall, where the previous attendance high of 13,500 was recorded last year.
SMOKING SUCCESS: Derbyshire County Council Chairman Councillor Dave Wilcox meets John Jaquest of Bolsover-based Jaquest Foods whose products included 'smokies' at the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair.
Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair 2013 visit our Flickr profile (opens in a new window)
What exhibiting businesses said:
Steven Croot, owner of Croots Farm Shop which employs 21 people at its Duffield base, said: "We've been to previous food fairs at Bolsover and Kedleston because it's a great way of promoting locally produced food."
"Visitor numbers are good and itís an enjoyable fair which just gets bigger and better."
Lisa Melland, owner of Eastmoor-based Peak Buffalo which is one of the country's biggest producers of buffalo meat, said: "We're regulars at the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair, having previously been to events at Hardwick, Kedleston and Bolsover.
It's a great way for local traders to advertise what they do and is an opportunity to mix with other retailers and look at opportunities of working together."
Louise Milroy, owner of Chesterfield-based Liza Bakes Ltd, said: "We used last year's fair to launch our fruit and ale cake which is made using the ale of fellow exhibitor Brampton Ale, and it has since become our main seller.
"The Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair is a great opportunity, not just for selling and raising your business' profile, but for building relationships with other local businesses."
Chris Radford, head brewer of Chesterfield-based Brampton Brewery, said: "This is our third year at the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair. It's a great opportunity for local companies to get their brands known and raise their public profile, and is one of the first events I put in the diary.
"It also brings business to business opportunities. If it wasn't for the food and drink fair we wouldn't interact with as many businesses. We've made some really good links - producers use our beer in their steak and ale pies and sausages, and we sell their produce in our three pubs."
Claire Millner, of The Hartington Cheese and Wine Co Ltd, said: "The Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair is a very well organised event, with a good layout for visitors and traders, including a nice blend of inside and outside stalls.
"It's a great place to showcase local produce and meet people and sales of our cheeses have been very good."
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