Patron: H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

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Hot Chocolate Lickable Spoons

salted-caramel-hot-chocolate-lickable-spoon-300x300Award winning Chocolatier Lick the Spoon has launched its new updated range of Hot Chocolate Lickable Spoons ® for 2016. Hot Chocolate Spoons have been a feature of Lick the Spoon’s chocolate range since their launch in 2006. Now in their 10th year the company has updated the range to beautiful new locally crafted packaging designed by Lick the Spoon’s Creative director Diana Short and illustrated by artist Stephanie Cole.
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2017_source_rgb_locurlOne of the biggest challenges new companies have is getting their products to market.  The Source trade show has a special area for Newcomers – new companies from the South West who have never done a trade show before – and has always been proud to play a part in introducing them to a wider audience.  Given the opportunity to introduce their products to potential customers, and pick up important new contracts, it's great to see them blossom, and to help them join the ranks of successful SW food businesses.  The Source show also connects them with distributors, who in their turn get the chance to add exciting new products to their ranges. Of course let’s not forget the Newcomers also give buyers the opportunity to get their hands on the latest, newest products before anyone else! 

This year the Newcomers’ area will be sponsored by Diverse Fine Foods, and it would be hard to find a more perfectly suited sponsor.  Diverse deal with luxury, smaller brands to take them to market via high end food outlets.  When they select a product, they really get behind it, selling the provenance, individuality, concept, as well as the product itself.  They are also committed to bringing independent retailers the very best products available.

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traditional_egg_companySomerset free range egg producer, Blackacre Farm Eggs, has rebranded to become The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, as of Monday 1 August. Owners Dan and Briony Wood have made this change, as they feel that it better represents their commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for small independent family-run farms, using the traditional flat deck production method.

Following widespread public support for its No Multi-Tier Here educational campaign earlier in the year, Dan and Briony believe that the rebrand symbolises their support for those farmers still using methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production. As they continue in their mission to enable consumers to make an informed decision when buying their free range eggs, positive feedback from the campaign suggests that many will opt for those produced using flat deck methods, rather than those from huge multi-tier sheds, meaning that traditional farmers can look forward to a sustainable future for generations to come.

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With regard to the UK's historic decision to leave the European Union, you will most likely be wondering what this vote means in terms of your own business and market. We clearly don't have all the answers on this yet! But John Sheaves, our CEO, is happy to share some views:

"Generally, whatever our personal feelings about Brexit, it does create both challenges and opportunities for business. My sense is that it is more about how businesses respond to these challenges rather than the challenges themselves. The food industry has tended to respond well to changeable market forces and periods of instability – it is worth remembering that everybody still needs to eat, and some people will want treats and indulgence every now and again! Over the last few years we have all got used to a relatively stable economy as a backdrop to business management. I would suggest (as a best guess) that we are probably about to enter a period of raised uncertainty and possible volatility, which if it happens will be supported and stabilised by Government as well as Bank of England intervention.

Short term – there is likely to be a period of financial instability in the world currency markets which may impact on consumer confidence and therefore purchasing decisions. It is too early to tell yet, however this financial instability may raise or even lower interest rates and may lead to some commodities like fuel becoming more expensive so it is worth planning for these short term scenarios. One point of note to make is that exports may be helped by a weak pound – but this is likely to be short lived.

Long term - there is no need to panic or make long term changes now. Most directives and regulations from the EU have been enshrined into UK law in any case, so there is likely to be no change or very little change there. We will of course update you all on specific issues like labelling on food products entering the EU post Brexit negotiations."

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cake cuttingTuesday 19 July saw the first ever Food Fair on the Green in the heart of Exeter on the Cathedral Green. This event was organised to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Taste of the West and featured over 60 of this year’s Gold award-winning producers. And of course the icing on the cake was that our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall were also able to join us on the day.

Their Royal Highnesses helped to celebrate Taste of the West’s anniversary by jointly cutting a large birthday cake decorated in the company colours. Taste of the West was honoured to be able to present HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall with a hamper packed full of many delicious products, contributed by the exhibitors, which they took away with them.

The Taste of the West exhibitors presented a wonderful display of winning products from all over the South West for His Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall which enabled us to talk to them so strongly about quality products from this region, and the value of developing strong, individual and independent brands which they all displayed so admirably.

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