2018 has got off to a flying start for Devon's food and drink scene and building on the success of recent years it is fair to say that Devon's fabulous food and drink is no longer a secret. The county continues to grow in recognition as the place to turn to for the very best produce, thanks in no small part to Food Drink Devon and its members, who are continually helping to build this reputation and share the delights of Devon with a wider audience.
Barbara King, chair of the board of directors for Food Drink Devon, says: “We are delighted to see that Devon's food fame continues to grow year on year. This is reflected in our increased membership, an upsurge in entries to our awards and a much greater interest from outside the county than ever before, both nationally and internationally. We work really hard to fly the flag for Devon but our work is made easier by the growing number of outstanding hospitality businesses, excellent retailers and quality producers that call this county home.”
Food Drink Devon is a not-for-profit organisation with over 250 members and works tirelessly to increase the county's profile. The 2018 edition of its annual guide, which showcases its members and their businesses, will shortly be available across the county as well as in Exeter airport, Paddington train station and on the desks of key influencers nationwide. Meanwhile, its cherished awards are in their eighth year and it is anticipated that they will attract even more entrants than 2017's record-breaking numbers, with the closing deadline of 20th April fast approaching. Last year the judges tasted over 200 of the finest products and visited nearly 100 establishments across Devon to select the pick of the crop for a shortlist of just 60. This year, the awards' ceremony will be taking place on Monday 8th October, at Highbullen Hotel, Umberleigh, North Devon, hosted for the fourth year running by BBC Radio 2's fabulous food and drink expert, Nigel Barden.
In recent years Food Drink Devon has increased its focus on championing Devon beyond the county and has put its members centre stage at a number of major events in London and built relationships with key journalists and influencers to ensure that Devon's food fame is spread far and wide and that the keen interest that the county has experienced in recent years continues. Charlie Deuchar, owner of Bayards Cove Inn, says: “We have recently joined Food Drink Devon as a member and we have been overwhelmed by the support and exposure that they have given to our business. Just last week they took our brand to London and introduced it to over 30 national and international journalists! We are busy following up on some fantastic leads. Food Drink Devon has already exceeded our expectations. Nobody else is doing as much as them to put Devon firmly on the food map.”
Food Drink Devon represents a membership of like-minded businesses, dedicated to providing good quality local food and drink. It supports it membership through regular workshops and updates as well as promotional opportunities and events. Food Drink Devon is committed to continuously achieving its mission – to become a nationally recognised brand for outstanding sustainable food and drink.