15 February 2007, 17:02 PM
  • 2007 is a year for new beginnings for Tastes of Anglia (TOA), the regional food and drink marketing group, with a new CEO and exciting plans ahead, the region looks set to benefit from increased support.

Julie West, who has taken over from Colin Clarke as chief executive, plans to build on previous successes and bring even more exciting opportunities to the regions producers and buyers. Mr Clarke has taken on the role as group chief executive. 

Ms West is leading the marketing group into a busy future. “Since the new year we have already planned two ‘Meet the Buyer’ events with new local sourcing retailers, notably Tesco.

“Such events help to bring together major buyers with producers from the region – we understand in the spring Sainsbury are bringing their buying team to the region, Tastes of Anglia (TOA) will assist in hosting this,” said Ms West.

Marks and Spencer is currently talking to the regional food groups to determine its new local sourcing policy – once agreed TOA look forward to being instrumental in organising some events with their buyers.

The food group is also pleased to report it has a great relationship with Elveden Fine Foods and has managed two successful days introducing new producers of local food and drink to its regional buyers, which include ASDA and 3663. Whilst these are ongoing, TOA is not going to rest on its laurels – planned is more work involving the region’s wholesalers. “If we are to introduce more locally sourced food and drink to the region then the only way forward is via our wholesalers,” said Ms West. On 24th January the TOA board of directors approved a new membership category for wholesalers and TOA has plans to create a directory of these wholesalers, which will be mailed to the 5000+ businesses keen to continue reducing food miles. 

Also new for 2007 is the Food Trade Fair, planned to take place this autumn. TOA is looking towards London and the masses of opportunity it has to offer. The group is in discussion with other partners to add even more value to this planned event in September or October. 

The regional food group believes it is on the eve of something big – now more than ever the consumer is becoming aware of what food miles actually mean, what’s available on their doorstep and of course, they want these fantastic products in a place where they can readily buy them; which means an influx in marketing projects for the Tastes of Anglia team.                                                                 

“We see Tastes of Anglia’s role as that of reconnecting, making those fantastic products available and promoting what this region has to offer,” said Julie West.

Feast East – the regions largest food and drink event takes place at Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambs on 8th (trade only), 9th and 10th March. The event will showcase a wide range of products from over 80 companies, supported by cooking demonstrations and tutorials dedicated to ‘all things pork.’  Franck Pontais, French chef extraordinaire will host a series of demonstrations – offering some new and some very different ideas for ‘ways with pork’.  Alison Sloan - the founder of ‘Fascinating Food’ has a wealth of knowledge and a passion about her subject and will be educating audiences about the history of food from a bygone age. 

For more information on Tastes of Anglia or Feast East, visit www.tastesofanglia.com