EEDA to launch regional food and drink PR drive

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is to launch a campaign to promote the region’s food and drink – and is on the hunt for an agency to manage it.

The government-funded economic development agency, which covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hert- fordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, is to promote the region as a gastronomic centre, with a PR push from November to March 2006.

With a budget of £50,000 a year, the campaign will aim to raise the profile of local food to encourage partnerships between the food and drink industry and local tourism bodies. The council wants to work with national organisations such as Food for Britain to establish how the region’s cuisine can be promoted overseas and provide opportunities for local food producers to better connect with consumers and the retail, catering and hospitality trades.

‘The campaign is not about steering people away from supermarkets but about supporting their own farmers and food industry,’ said an EEDA spokesman.

‘The industry here is very important, we have some of the biggest food and farming areas in the country,’ he added.

Big local brands include Colman’s Mustard, Greene King IPA, Jordan’s Cereals and Bernard Matthews.

The campaign aims to make the sector more profitable to help the EEDA’s target of becoming one of Europe’s top 20 wealthiest regions by 2010.

‘We are currently just outside the top-20 performing regions in Europe in terms of gross domestic product and we want to improve,’ the spokesman said.

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