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DEFRA recognises the rising stars of the UK’s food and drink industry

The economic contribution of the UK’s food and drinks entrepreneurs has been recognised with the launch of a new programme backed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and supported by Seven Hills.

The inaugural ‘Food Stars’ showcase took place at DEFRA, recognising 50 of the country’s most innovative and successful food and drinks businesses.

Hosted by Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the event acted as a one-day masterclass for growing a food business, with contributions from a range of industry leaders. They included Justin King, until recently CEO of Sainsbury’s; Luke Johnson, former owner of Pizza Express; Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen; Kate Robertson, global president of Havas Worldwide; and Robert Jakobi, managing director of Metcalfe’s Food Company.

StartUp Britain co-founders Michael Hayman MBE and Oli Barrett MBE worked with the teams at Seven Hills and DEFRA to deliver an event which championed the emerging businesses.

Throughout the day, the 50 ‘Food Star’ companies heard from the experts on branding and marketing, exporting, selling to the hospitality sector and finance. They were given the opportunity to meet with buyers from across the industry and display their products in the Atrium at DEFRA. The day culminated in a reception at No. 11 Downing Street.

Launching the Food Stars network, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

“We are a nation of firsts; we invented self-raising flour and introduced the first modern chocolate bar. As a country we’ve always been a place where sparky entrepreneurs come up with great innovations in food and drink, people with the ambition to grow and take on the world.”

“Now is the time to celebrate that success which is helping grow our economy – that is why we’ve created Food Stars to recognise the bright innovators of today and support them to become the major players of tomorrow.”

The Food Stars will receive a package of continued support from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Cranfield University over the next year. This includes a tailored information service and access to a range of events and development opportunities in agriculture and food, the environment, management and leadership.

DEFRA’s 50 Food Stars include:

Abernethy Butter
The Artisan Kitchen
Bath Soft Cheese
Belvoir Fruit Farms
Buxton Pudding Company
Camel Valley
Castleton Farm Shop
Chapel Down
Coconut Kitchen
Country Puddings
Cuddybridge Apple Juice
Duke of Delhi
Friary Liqueurs
Goodnesse Ltd
Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt
Heck Food
Hepworth & Company Brewers
Highland Chocolatier
Holy Cow!
Jealous Sweets
J.Lawrie & Sons ‘Jaffys’
Jeffry’s Mallaig Kippers
Joe and Seph’s Popcorn
Killer Tomato
Mackie’s at Taypack
Nom Foods
Norfolk Saffron
The Norfolk Sloe Company
Not Dogs
Ooft Hot Sauce
Pact Coffee
The Patchwork Traditional Food Company
Pilton Cider
Rebel Kitchen
Redhill Farm
Ridgeview Wines
Rubies in the Rubble
Savse Smoothies
Scarlett and Mustard
Sweet Virtues
Sweetpea Pantry
Three Little Pigs
Uig Lodge Smoked Salmon
Warner Edwards
Westaway Sausages Limited
Westerham Brewery
Wold Top Brewery
Womersley Fruit and Herb Vinegars
Yorkshire Provender

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