Derbyshire food is the hot top in Parliament

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Derbyshire’s finest food and drink producers were welcomed into the House of Commons recently to celebrate Derbyshire Day

The event, which was held on On Tuesday , April 16, was facilitated by Nigel Mills MP for Amber Valley and Heather Wheeler MP for South Derbyshire, supported by the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, Andrew Bingham, Pauline Latham OBE, Jessica Lee, Toby Perkins and the Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett MP, in collaboration with Derbyshire County Council, was held to promote local food and drink to some of our country’s top decision-makers.

It brought together a range of the county’s best producers; ice cream-maker Bluebell Dairy, Chatsworth Farm Shop, butchers J W Mettrick and Son, S&A Foods, Scropton Cider, Sealwood Cottage Vineyard, Thorntons Chocolates, Jaquest Fine Foods, Birds the Confectioners, Hartington Creamery, Fresh Basil Deli and Eaterie, and four members of the Derbyshire Brewers Collective – Derventio, Brampton, Peak Ales and Thornbridge, who offered generous samples of their award-winning wares to hungry and thirsty MPs and parliamentary workers.

The event was attended by some high-profile parliamentarians including Commons Speaker John Bercow, Commons Deputy Speaker, Nigel Evans, Food Minister David Heath, and the Chancellor, George Osborne.

George Osborne said: “Derbyshire food is so strong. You’ve got so many businesses, from the Chatsworth Farm Shop right down to small local farmers. It’s great to see the county showcasing its finest here in the House of Commons.”

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, was able to join in the celebrations of the day and had this to say: “I was delighted to attend Derbyshire Food and Drinks Fair in the Houses of Parliament, which was an excellent way to raise the profile of the region and boost tourism. Derbyshire is home to many well-known brands, such as Chatsworth and Thorntons, as well as some local producers like Hartington Creamery and Bluebell Dairy, who all provide quality local food and drink which I thoroughly enjoyed sampling. Well done to all the local MPs who organised the event and thanks to all the producers for coming down to showcase the very best of British.”

Not only did the event celebrate the food and drink of Derbyshire but it also promoted the excellent tourist attractions of our county. The local tourist board and Visit England were there to highlight the sites and attractions that make our county a fantastic place to visit.

During a day that aimed to get the country’s decision-makers talking about the county, the event saw hundreds of MPs and parliamentary workers won over by our first-class food and drink as they sampled chocolate, cheese, wine, beer, pies and other local delicacies.

Nigel Mills MP said after: “Today our county was able to show to MPs from all over the country what Derbyshire has to offer. This event was an excellent way of raising awareness of the concerns of local food and drink producers in an historic setting.”

And South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler added: “The day has been a great success — Derbyshire’s food and drink has been the talk of Parliament. I am pleased that Sealwood Cottage Vineyards and Scropton Cider were able to represent South Derbyshire. I can’t thank all our producers enough for giving their time to promote and highlight to some of our top politicians the need to support our local food and drink Industry.”