North east producers delight Tesco

Food and drink producers from the north east are on course to have the region's specialities gracing the shelves of Tesco, following a roadshow to meet local suppliers.

More than 100 suppliers from north east England and Yorkshire attended the event earlier this month at Oulton Hall, near Leeds, to meet Tesco buyers and show them the very best the region has to offer.

And Tesco's buyers were thrilled by the quality of that offer. Tesco's head of local sourcing Emily Shamma said: "This was our best event yet in terms of quality of suppliers. It's a real credit to North East England and Yorkshire suppliers that the quality of produce we saw at this event was better than at any other to date.

"Our buyers were enormously pleased and we are tremendously encouraged that we will be working with a large number of the 110 suppliers who attended.''

Tesco worked closely with the North East England Regional Food Group, led by Northumbria Larder, which represents a vast range of regional suppliers, and with its counterpart in Yorkshire, to organise the event.

Michael McCallum, business development manager for Northumbria Larder, said: "We are excited by Tesco's initial response to the roadshow. We know what great produce north east England has to offer and we were absolutely sure that, given the opportunity, we could demonstrate that quality to others. Now it looks as though some of our producers have won over the UK's biggest food and drink retailer.''

Set up in 2002, Northumbria Larder has brought together food producers to strengthen and promote North East England regionally produced food and drink, both for local consumption and also to national and international markets.

It is the lead partner in the delivery arm that is the North East England Regional Food Group, set up by One NorthEast to assist food and drink producers, and to increase the availability and awareness of the region's wide range of quality produce, while working towards ambitious targets in skills development, and business and job creation in the sector.