Taste of the West, the largest independent regional food group in the UK has entered into an 18-month partnership with leading South West law firm Trowers & Hamlins and leading audit, accounting, tax, and advisory firm Bishop Fleming to help raise the profile of the thriving South West food and drink sector.
Established in 1991, Taste of the West promotes and supports local food and drink producers across the South West region, including Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.
The organisation has nearly 1,100 producer and hospitality members extending across the hotels and leisure sector, holiday parks as well as the thriving agriculture sector.
Trowers & Hamlins and Bishop Fleming will act as Taste of the West's title sponsor for the next 18-months and will work alongside the food group on the annual Taste of the West Awards, the most prestigious food and drink awards programme in the South West, as well as a series of in-depth conference events to support and represent the regional food and drink industry.
The annual Taste of the West Awards have been promoting and supporting the South West food and drink industry for 30 years, covering three main categories: Hospitality, Retail and Product. The 2023 awards process is underway, with over 1200 food and drink products and dozens of restaurants and venues being assessed by the team of judges.
Stuart Mathews, Corporate Partner at Trowers & Hamlins, commented:
"Trowers has had an office in the region for 38 years and we are deeply committed to supporting local businesses and our community. We are also passionate about championing local success and through this new partnership with Taste of the West and Bishop Fleming we have the chance to raise the profile of the thriving South West food and drink industry, as well as identifying and helping address the many issues the industry faces in the current economic and environmental situation.
"Our local food and drink is widely recognised as some of the best globally and we’re delighted to be involved in helping further that recognition and the brilliant firms that work so hard to put their produce on our tables."
John Sheaves, Chief Executive at Taste of the West, commented:
"We are delighted to partner with two major support businesses to the food and drink sector here in the South West. We have spent over 30 years developing this sector into a unique, vibrant and much sought after industry. Food and drink businesses from this region now play a significant role in our domestic food supply chains, our regional tourism offer and perhaps more importantly contribute greatly to the region’s sustainability – so important as we tackle climate change over the next few years. While this work over the last 30 years or so has been instrumental in putting regional food and drink on the map, we now need to raise the profile of this sector even higher. As we push out further and deliver our business plan for the next two years, I cannot think of two better partners to help us achieve our aims than Trowers & Hamlins and Bishop Fleming."
Fleur Lewis, Partner and Head of Food & Drink at Bishop Fleming:
“We are excited about the possibilities that this partnership brings, and we look forward to collaborating with Taste of the West and Trowers to help nurture economic growth, create new opportunities, and cultivate a stronger, more sustainable food and drink ecosystem in the South West.”