A forward-thinking group of Cumbrian businesses and supporters are preparing to attend the three-day Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC between 30th March and 1st April.
The ‘This is Cumbria’ collective will once again be taking their branded destination stand, following the success of their first trade event in April 2019.
Initiated by Maria Whitehead of Hawkshead Relish and Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers in 2018, a group of Cumbrian producers came together to create a ‘big impact’ trade stand that would position the very best of the county’s food, drink and produce in front of the 30,000 key buyers and visitors that the event attracts.
With several new Cumbrian producers on board for 2020 and the continued support pledged by a group of sponsors, the collective aims to build upon last year’s achievements by developing national awareness and championing Cumbrian brands.
The organisers hope to attract attention at the show not only with their unique stand, but through an interactive live stage session to be held on 1st April. The session, ‘Walking in their shoes – what customers really want’ will be led by This is Cumbria partners, Thomas Jardine & Co and The Family Business Network, and will encourage delegates to think like a customer as they sample some delicious Cumbrian produce.
Keith Jackson of Thomas Jardine & Co said, “We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the crowds, draw some extra interest to the stand and tell people what This is Cumbria is all about. Last year, there was a really vibrant feel to our stand and the unique look and concept created plenty of interest amongst the visitors.”
The initiative was able to get off the ground with support from a number of committed Cumbrian sponsors including Cartmell Shepherd, Enterprise Answers, Eclectic Creative, Liberty Workware and Printing Plus who between them, pledged their support for the initiative through funding of the unique ‘Showcase Area’, assisting with uniforms, branding, design and printing.
Mark Morrison of brand consultancy, Eclectic Creative said, “It is great to see such passion for their products in this group of Cumbrian brands. We work with many of them, so when they asked us if we would create their collective branding it was easy to say yes. We are delighted to be involved in championing Cumbria and the superb products and services that originate from this amazing county.”
Grahame Latus of Enterprise Answers commented, “Over the years, Enterprise Answers has assisted a number of Cumbria’s food & drink producers, helping them to either start, develop or expand their businesses, with many going on to be award winners. Being a sponsor of This is Cumbria was a natural fit for Enterprise Answers which endorses our support and commitment to this growing sector full of creativity, diversity and quality”
The ‘This is Cumbria’ line up of businesses exhibiting within the unique ‘Showcase Area’ in 2020 include Shed 1 Distillery, Molly Rose Drinks, Cakes from the Lakes, Hawkshead Brewery, Pie Mill, Eden Valley Meat Company and Vies Jamaican Rum Cake. Surrounding them on larger stands will be Hawkshead Relish, Ginger Bakers, Farrers Tea & Coffee, Vegware, Kin Vodka, Lakeland Artisan and Penningtons Liqueurs.
Exhibitor, Maria Whitehead MBE co-owner of Hawkshead Relish commented: “The Farm Shop & Deli Show is a must attend food and drink show in our annual event calendar. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with new and existing customers, and at the same time spend time networking with industry colleagues and other exhibitors. Since its inception it has become a great vehicle for showcasing Cumbria’s food and drink producers to a much wider audience. By exhibiting as part of This is Cumbria, we can maximise these opportunities, shout louder, share information and even develop collaborative relationships, which will see us all benefit.”
Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network, one of the partners of the initiative said, “This is Cumbria offers a wonderful platform for businesses, giving them a voice outside of the county. It’s particularly beneficial for those who may not have exhibited at large trade shows before as the collective brings exhibitors together to provide friendly and professional support for one another, as well as pre-show PR and social media build up and extra coverage during the show”.
The Farm Shop & Deli Show takes place at the NEC from 30th March -1st April 2020.
This is Cumbria have two 2x2m trade stands remaining as well as sponsorship opportunities for businesses wishing to get involved.