- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On Wednesday 23 March, I attending Shropshire food day in Parliament where I met farmers, small businesses and food and drink producers based in Shropshire to discuss issues they are currently facing, and sample their local produce.
I spoke with Heather Williams and Linda Bird of ‘Heather’s Harvest’, who have been producing hand made chutneys and jams since 2006. You can find out more information on their website: www.heathers-harvest.co.uk. Linda (in the right of the picture below) is Heather’s (in the middle of the picture) mum and encouraged her daughter to take the bold step and start her own business. Linda grew up in Aldridge in Walsall and it was lovely to hear about the successful business that she has helped to create.
Bennet and Dunn are a company that produces healthy rapeseed oil which has half the saturated fat of olive oil. I was pleased to hear that Bennett and Dunn look after the environment by farming in a responsible way. The farmers provide good habitats for insects, small mammals and birds by preserving and planting hedgerows, maintaining ponds and creating wild flower margins.
Hop and Stagger Brewery have been brewing beer in Shropshire since 2012 and offer a diverse range of beets from Indian Pale Ale to a Porter.
I spoke with Helen Graham, the director of The Ludlow Nut Company. The company is part of Ludlow Food Centre which employs over 120 local people. You can find out about The Ludlow Nut Company’s range of cereals and nuts on their website: www.ludlownutco.co.uk
Belton Cheese has been made at Belten Farm since the early 1800’s, ceasing only for a short time during the second world war. Belton has been an organic farm since 2002 and is also committed to caring for the environment. In the Spring of 2007, Belton planted 11,000 hardwood trees on the farmland.
Gill’s Puddings are a prestigious 4 star hotel and restaurant group that have won the diamond award in the year 2008 and 2009. You can visit their website at www.gillspuddings.com to find out more about them.
Coopers gourmet sausage rolls also had a stall. You can find out about their range of foods on their website: www.coopers-sausage-rolls.co.uk
I would like to thank all the people I met; it was great to see and try a whole array of different produce that all comes out of Shropshire, and it was a good opportunity to talk with those in the industry and other MPs about the state of farming and food production in Shropshire and across Britain.