New producers networking event coming to South Somerset

A new bi-monthly networking group for local food and drink producers is coming to South Somerset, thanks to funding from Defra's (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Championing British Food Tourism scheme.

South Somerset District Council has arranged the networking group meetings after receiving   a share of the Defra scheme grant. The funding will help to promote regional food and drink.

The first meeting will be at the newly refurbished Westlands Leisure Complex in Yeovil, on Monday 3 April between 10.00am and 12.00pm. There will be the opportunity to meet other local producers, network and receive free business support.

Future meetings will take place on Monday 29 May, Monday 24 July, Monday 25 September and Monday 27 November at the same times and location.

There will be presentations and talks from food and drink businesses from across the region and advice for the group and individuals. Producers are advised to book a place on the networking group by calling 01935 462173.

Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at South Somerset District Council said, "We are delighted to be getting this first event underway, to give food and drink producers the chance to network and share their experiences, as well as  learning about the business opportunities that exist both locally and on the wider stage.

"Along with our monthly food and drink markets, these groups will help to promote regional food and drink in South Somerset."

The networking group is part of a wider project of monthly food and drink markets being held at the Cartgate Picnic Site on the fourth Saturday of every month between February and November 2017.

The project will build on the successful reputation of Somerset and create a positive impact for the local economy by growing the local supply chains, increasing the consumer audience and enhancing the profile of local food and drink.

Stands are still available at some of the markets. If local producers are interested in attending these free markets they can contact Rebecca O'Neill at South Somerset District Council. Unfortunately, due to licensing rules, hot food, drink and alcohol are not permitted to be sold at the markets.