Choose Cornish moves forward

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Cornwall Food & Drink and the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce have reaffirmed their support for the Choose Cornish campaign.

The two organisations originally launched the initiative in autumn 2012, as a way to get people and businesses in Cornwall to think more about sourcing locally as a way of building the Cornish economy.

Speaking on St Piran’s Day yesterday (March 5), Cornwall Chamber chief executive, Kim Conchie, said the campaign will be moved forward with some new ideas.

Choose Cornish campaigners Ruth Huxley and Kim Conchie
Choose Cornish campaigners Ruth Huxley and Kim Conchie

He said: “This is the day that many of us consider what it means to be Cornish or to live or work in Cornwall, and one of the remarkable characteristics of this county is its ability to work together with common purpose. The Choose Cornish campaign reinforces that collective strength and gives it direction.”

Ruth Huxley, who runs Cornwall Food & Drink, has been astonished at the interest in the campaign. She added: “People have told us that it has inspired them to change their shopping habits and businesses say it has had an impact on their sales.

“So much so, in fact, that when we asked our members what they wanted us to focus our efforts on this year, many of them told us to make Choose Cornish a priority, and to take it even further.”

This year’s campaign will continue the initiatives from last year such as the publication of the Truly Cornish Café Trail and the Choose Cornish Awards, while adding new features, in particular a drive to help local businesses capture a greater proportion of the trade wrapped up in public sector contracts.

Conchie continued: “Just like the rest of the campaign, we’re intending to take small steps that could make a big difference to local businesses rather than trying to change things radically overnight. Finding out the art of the possible, where the opportunities lie and how we might chip away to turn them into reality is the aim.”

Train operator, First Great Western, is also lending its support to the Choose Cornish campaign. Head of marketing, Philip Edgerton, said: “As a company based in the region, we are committed to sourcing good quality local food from within 15 miles of our railway.

“However, we would love to do more to ensure that the food we serve supports the producers from the First Great Western area and we hope to achieve this by discovering some new suppliers with the help of the Choose Cornish campaign and Cornwall Food & Drink.”