June 2022


Let's celebrate the brilliant innovation of Warwickshire's fantastic food and drink sector

Warwickshire's vibrant Food and Drink scene was celebrated this month at the Foodie Awards. Here, Warwickshire County Council's Lead Commissioner (Place Projects and Partnerships), Aaron Corsi, reflects upon an uplifting occasion which vividly highlighted the county's diverse and dazzling offer in the sector.

 It should come as no surprise that rural Warwickshire is home to an abundance of high-quality produce, artisan makers and irresistible food and drink experiences.

Add to that breadth of skills across the county, the diverse range of towns and villages from north to south and there is a wonderfully eclectic mix of local produce and hospitality venues, all offering something uniquely 'Warwickshire.' 

There are lots of reasons why where you eat out matters to you. It might be a special occasion or a rare treat, or you might need to consider a special dietary requirement which means that you need to plan - but where you spend your money matters in many ways.

And it matters to the local economy too.

Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our town centres and behind the scenes there are many people working hard to constantly create new food and drink experiences. Hot on the heels of The Foodie Awards 2022, we explore the reasons why this sector offers so much more than meets the eye.

In Warwickshire, you don’t have to look far to find award-winning products up there with the best in the UK. These include Leamington’s Jabberwocky Food, who became The British Sandwich Association winner in 2021 with their Bangin’ Chicken Finger Sandwich.

Within the food and drink scene in the county, post-pandemic life is disrupting traditional food and drink models but local businesses have worked hard behind the scenes and innovated brilliantly with boxed food and local delivery models, new digital technologies and communication tools and point of sale software.

As a result, people on the high street are seeing interesting venues springing up, bringing us new products and services. With meat-free alternatives becoming a preference for many, businesses have adapted to meet that demand. There is a buzz in the air which is attracting the attention of food bloggers such as The Veg Food Enthusiast, Katie Todd.

For our residents, food safety is an important aspect of life. Food hygiene regulation is a high priority for our district and borough councils. The Food Standards Agency provides a searchable list of ratings for businesses throughout the UK and it is easy to check the business you are thinking of visiting so you can feel confident in your choice.

The message is 'buy and eat local where you can.' Local food producers in Warwickshire operate at varying scales and offer a range of products from honey to eggs, liqueurs to wines, fudge to home bakes and chutneys to jams. Many of these products are produced locally, using local produce, and are retailed through local outlets meaning there is a short local supply chain.

Why not visit one of the local town markets to pick up some of the products as the producers have stalls regularly throughout the year? Or how about liking, sharing and commenting through your own social media channels on what you love about the local food and drink scene #buyeatlocal. We can all do our bit to make sure the environmental impact of food production is minimised and the economic benefit to the county is maximised. 

You can read more about the stars of the Foodie Awards 2022 elsewhere in this edition of Warwickshire Means Business.


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