Lancashire Producers – On Film

4 October 2009

Lights, camera, action! Lancashire producers dish up a series of delicious short films

Four of Lancashire’s leading food producers starred in their own three-minute mini-films as part of this year’s Lancashire Producers’ Month.  Previewed yesterday at Bashall Barn, Bashall Eaves – our four leading men (namely, vegetable farmer Peter Ascroft of H & P Ascroft based at Tarleton; brewer, Richard Baker of Bowland Brewery based at Bashall Barn; cheese-maker, Bob Kitching of Leagram’s Organic Dairy based in Chipping and bee keeper and honey-maker, Dave Rayner of Ribblesdale Honey based at Bashall Eaves) were all on hand to chat to guests and see themselves on the big screen for the very first time.  The films can be viewed on click here

Each film depicts the work of our unlikely matinee idols, the food they produce as well as giving a little more insight into the characters behind successful Lancashire businesses that are producing food of the very highest quality.  The produce is distributed across Lancashire and beyond through bespoke retail outlets and farmers markets directly to some of the area’s leading chefs and Taste Lancashire accredited restaurants.

Said Tony Openshaw, Head of Marketing at Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board,

“We see lots of TV coverage about food and chefs so we thought it would be good to showcase the producers behind some of Lancashire’s finest ingredients.  It was a bit a of a leap into the unknown for all four producers but they really stepped up to the mark and the camera crew couldn’t believe how natural they were in front of the camera – they took it completely in their stride like it was an everyday occurrence. 

The common denominator with them all is their passion for their subject, so talking about what they know best gave us some fascinating and inspirational short films.”

The films were used to kick-start Producers’ Month (October) which takes place during British Food Fortnight, (the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain produces), as Lancashire sets out to demonstrate that it is one of the country’s most successful and long-standing food-producing counties.

During the month locals and visitors alike will be encouraged to see and taste for themselves some of the delights on offer.  There are foodie events galore – Garstang Food Festival, a week-long food and drink extravaganza and Rural Rossendale Walking Festival offering Soup Loop, Fudge Trudge and the Wind Turbines Whisky Tour.  Alternatively, there’s also the opportunity to taste beautifully cooked local produce in a Taste Lancashire quality assured place to eat, follow a food trail or visit one of our food producers for a look at how fresh raw materials are made into something delicious.  There are farm shops, specialist retailers and stores to choose from – many that have been farming and selling their produce in Lancashire for generations.  The field to fork message is a way of life here.

The launch event at Bashall Barn included a talk and tasting by Richard Baker of Bowland Brewery, a talk on bee-keeping by David Rayner, an ice-cream tasting ‘introducing Bashall Barn’s home-made ice-cream with chunks of honeycomb” as well as a tasting of a ‘Lancashire Plate’ showcasing some delicious Lancashire produce.  Other producers exhibiting on the day included: Heritage Kitchen, Mr Fitzpatricks Temperance Drinks and J Atkinson & Co of Lancaster.

Lancashire producers are diverse – our landscape is prime for dairy, pork, beef, lamb and ostrich farming as well as root and beet vegetables even chillis.  We’ve got breweries, traditional drinks such as sarsaparilla, cheese, ice cream, fish, sweets, fudge, black puddings, honey, herbs, preserves – the list is endless. 

The statistics speak for themselves with the regional food and drink market growing at 5% year on year and 70% of British consumers wanting to buy local and regional foods – MINTEL’s 2005 British Lifestyle report notes that “consumers are adopting a more traditional approach to grocery shopping” and the ‘Which Good Food Guide 2006’ claims ‘Food Britannia’ and states: “More than ever before, chefs are using local and seasonal produce and boasting about it.”  Producers are not walking in the shadows of celebrity chefs but indeed stepping right alongside them.

Those looking for a ‘foodie’ short-break in Lancashire have plenty to choose from in terms of accommodation – everything from romantic inns with log fires and luxury self-catering cottages through to restaurants with rooms, boutique hotels with fine dining and cosy B&Bs. Whether you choose a rural retreat, coastal resort or city break – food is at the heart of a great stay.

The multi-award winning Ribble Valley Food Trail is certainly not one to be missed and there are also three Lancashire Cheese Trails to enjoy. 4-6 mile easy walks through the fields known as ‘The Lancashire Milk Fields’ by Lancashire’s Artisan Cheesemakers.  You can easily come up with your own foodie trail too, perhaps visit Lancashire’s famous Panopticons, country parks, Pendle Hill or the Forest of Bowland AONB, and take along a tasty Lancashire picnic.

For more information on Producers Month and the various itineraries and trails outlined click here

To view the new films please click here

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