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MP praises local food producers and breweries as 'Best in the UK'

August 17, 2012 10:24 AM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today praised Cumbria's food and brewing sector and called them the 'best in the UK'

Tim believes that our brewing and food businesses are leading the way and showing off the best of the county to the world. Recently Coniston Brewery was awarded the best beer in Britain title from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The brewery's No 9 Barley Wine has scooped the CAMRA's top award as the champion beer in Britain. Cumbrian Legendary Ales from Hawkshead also won a silver in the golden ales category.

Tim also picked out Hawkshead Relish who he thinks epitomise what is fantastic about food fromCumbria. In February the business was invited to an international event in Prague as part of a new Government strategy to boost food exports.

A report released recently by the Campaign for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) called 'From field to fork: The value of England's local food webs', argues that local food offers a great opportunity to support vibrant town centres and countryside.

The report found that across England local food outlets serve an estimated 16.3 million customers a week and that local food sales through independent outlets generate £2.7 billion a year for the economy. These outlets support over 100,000 jobs, 61,000 of which are directly attributable to local food sales.

With around 50p in every £1 we spend in shops being spent on food, supporting local enterprises could boost our local economy and bring even more jobs to theSouthLakes.

Tim said: "In Cumbria we are incredibly lucky to have food businesses like the Hawkshead Brewery, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Company and brilliant entrepreneurs like Mark and Maria Whitehead at Hawkshead Relish. They are just three of many businesses that are leading the way of producing fantastic food. We are leading the way and the rest of the UK is following far behind!

"Our food and brewing industry are incredibly lucky to have such fantastic farms, farmers and produce on their doorstep. I think that's only part of the reason for their success - it is mainly down to the hard work and dedication of the people running great local businesses with massive international reputations."