Hartpury staged the official launch of an exciting new initiative aimed at inspiring fresh enterprise among food and drink producers across Gloucestershire.
Entrepreneurs and industry experts gathered at Hartpury House to support Co-Op Midcounties’ Food Glorious Food campaign run in partnership with Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Folk2Folk, and The Growth Hub.
At the launch, Co-op Midcounties provided details about its Dragons’ Den-style competition in which local producers will pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts.
The winning idea will join Midcounties Best of our Counties range of locally sourced food and drink products in its 52 Gloucestershire stores.
The successful applicant will also receive mentoring from the competition judges, business development support from Co-op Midcounties and assistance with a full marketing launch campaign.
The runners-up will secure shelf space in selected Co-op food stores and entry onto a one-day business skills seminar at Hartpury University and Hartpury College.
Launch attendees also had opportunities to network, sample locally produced food and drink, and access advice from peer-to-peer lending specialist Folk2Folk on how best to finance their ideas.
Representatives from the National Farmers Union, The Growth Hub, Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and food traceability app Happerley were also on hand to offer support and advice.
Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting the Co-Op Midcounties’ Food Glorious Food campaign and delighted to have been the venue for the launch event.
“We’re extremely proud of the great links that we’ve made with local employers, many of whom provide important placements for our university and college students.
“We’re confident that the campaign will help to inspire lots of innovative ideas from local producers and we look forward to hosting the winners of the one-day seminar at Hartpury.”
Phil Ponsonby, CEO Co-op Midcounties, added: “As part of our commitment to promoting and supporting locally produced food and drink we are always on the lookout for exciting, innovative new ideas.
“We hope our Food Glorious Food initiative will encourage the most creative Gloucestershire business minds to come forward.”
Picture: Guests enjoying the produce at the launch of the Food Glorious Food campaign at Hartpury