Thursday, 18 April 2013

Foodlink Northwest

Welcome to the first of our weekly bulletins on businesses and organisations that mirror the ethos of The Egg Award 2014.  Due to interaction on Twitter with Foodlink Cheshire we take a look at the Foodlink Northwest Project

FoodLink NorthwestFoodlink Northwest encompasses the whole of the field to fork activities of the local food chain in the Northwest and represents a partnership of interests with a passion for the region’s locally produced foods.

At the outset they obtained support for the project from a diverse group of individuals, charities, businesses and not for profit organisations that recognise the connection local foods have on the environment, communities, sustainability, tourism, and lifestyle choices.  In understanding the driving philosophy behind the Foodlink Northwest project it is easiest to consider it as a compendium of common cause which will be brought together in a flexible approach where converging aims and objectives define a need for co-operative effort.

Broughs Butchers Formby
In that sense the Foodlink Northwest project isn’t about them, but more about the connections they make during the project with others who share common views.  This was one of the features that attracted The Egg Award 2013 to take a look at what they do.

As the project develops they hope to enlarge this initial co-operative arrangement as others see the benefits of working to the common cause and the flexibility the project has to enable differing interests to be drawn together and contribute in the local foods common bond whilst maintaining their own individual characteristics.

Foodlink Northwest

The Foodlink project encompasses the whole of the region including the three predominately rural counties of Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire, and the two metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester & Merseyside.

foodlink cumbria

Within this region is arguably one of the most diverse food-producing areas in the country. Rural Cumbria is noted for its sheep & beef production together with a well established artisan micro producer base. Cheshire is the county of orchards, cereal, dairy and vegetable farming.

Foodlink Lancashire
Lancashire bridges the two with sheep and beef from its Bowland & Pennine regions; cheese and other dairy products from the green pastures between Chorley and Lancaster; and vegetables from the lowlands on both north and south sides of the Ribble estuary.

foodlink cheshire

Tourism features strongly with the counties of Cumbria and Lancashire boasting designated areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) whilst Manchester, Merseyside, Chester and Blackpool are increasingly seen as tourist hubs to commence the journey to explore the rural northern heartlands.

foodlink manchester 
Cumbria is world renown for the Lake District and all five counties have significant river and waterway leisure systems whilst all except Manchester are bounded by the Irish Sea.
The Northwest is certainly blessed with geographic diversity which is then reflected in its local foods.

foodlink liverpool
Support for the Foodlink Northwest application came from a number of sources across the region all of which we would like to thank here, and as the project rolls out we will take the opportunity to thank in person.  Support has been received in a variety of forms including encouragement, pledges to the project, and letters of support which they were able to include in their successful application.

Without the wide support received they would not have been successful and it is testimony to the fact that engagement can and does make a difference.

Here's a list of those who provided letters of support included in their submission for funding and these include:

Cumbrian Delight/ Friendly Food & Drink
Appleby Creamery Ltd
Royal Agricultural Benevolent
Ladies in Beef
The Watermill
Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses
Cumbria Farmers Network
Farming & Countryside
The Lake District Hotels
Friends of the Lake
The Lowry
Mawsons of Bailey
Bailey Ground Hotel
Low Sizergh Barn
CPRE (Northern)N/applicable
Nurture Lakeland
Councillor Lynn Wilson (Hyndburn BC)
Northcote (Nigel Haworth)
Alderley Edge Hotel
The Sun Inn – Kirkby
Macdonald Manchester Hotel
Freemasons at Wiswell
Radisson Edwardian

In compiling the application they had more detailed and substantive discussions with The Kindling Trust, The Cumbria Fells and Dales Action Group, and The Solway, Border and Eden Action Group.

These groups gave help and encouragement in working up the bid and helping to formulate elements of the project’s direction. 

The Kindling Trust

The Cumbria Fells and Dales Action Group

The Solway, Border and Eden Action Group    (

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