How local food producers’ passion could serve as inspiration to us all

25 October 2018

Following my recent appointment as Head of Food Sector at Birketts I attended Local Flavours at the Norfolk Showground at the end of September. The event is for local food producers to showcase their products to potential buyers from across the UK. 

Cruising the aisles it was also a good reminder that there are so many food and drink producers based in Norfolk and Suffolk. Chocolatiers, butchers, crisp companies, gin producers, coffee roasters, ice creameries a plenty. For example, I tasted the most delicious dark chocolate truffle – made in Brooke. I was delighted to see several Future50 companies exhibiting. 

I love the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs, in particular those in food and drink. They all seem to have a deep passion for their products. 

Chatting to Russell Evans at Bullards Gin (a Future50 company), you are taken on a journey inside the business and discover its exciting new branding based on the original Norwich Bullards beer.

Norfolk Raider Cider, set up on the edge of Sprowston, uses apples from an orchard that was going to be cut down and ploughed over. Its founders, Paul and Beth Clark, will explain to you that the airmen, who used to drink in the pub at St Faith’s (which is the village where the company started) before heading out for bombing raids the next day, were known as the “Norfolk Raiders”. The nicknames of the bomber aircrafts are on each cider bottle.

Each exhibitor was very proud of his or her connections with this region. It was a privilege and pleasure to be invigorated by the conversations. Part of my role as Head of Food at Birketts is to champion our local producers, of all shapes and sizes. I am excited about being given a platform from which to do this.

I am also on the Board of the Future50, and so I get to see all manner of fast growing companies. The F50 provides a springboard for further growth. Getting an insight into these companies is again a reminder of how all manner of businesses are thriving.

As lawyers, too often we are renowned for dampening spirits, curbing enthusiasm and highlighting worst case scenarios. I do not believe at Birketts we take this approach. Instead, we feel privileged to work with such a diverse range of clients and look to assist them with harnessing their energy to develop their businesses. We believe this is not only what our clients what but it makes the interaction with their solicitors a more fun experience. I remember as a junior lawyer been taught that legal work is hard but can be fun, if you make it fun.

With the wind of political change blowing pressures may increase. Post Brexit will be challenging for many of us. If we work hard to support our businesses I am certain that we can ride out any storm and continue to benefit from doing business in this all-too-often forgotten region. Thankfully, with the quality of local products available to us, supporting our fantastic array of businesses is easy. So, please do it – not only because you should but because it will get your taste buds tingling.

This article first appeared in the Eastern Daily Press. For further information, please contact Ed Savory or a member of the Birketts' Food Sector Team.