New web site serves up ACE initiative for North West food and drink

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A pilot scheme to help food and drink businesses win national recognition and awards has been launched in the North West, with the aim of positioning the region as a leading food tourism destination.

The first of a potential roll out across the UK to help promote British food and drink, North West Tastes ACE (Awards Credited Excellence) has collated all the local, regional and national food awards in one place online. The scheme has been launched by Northwest Food Tourism Executive Group, and includes application forms, guidance notes and deadlines; allowing businesses who may not normally have the time or resources to research them, enter award programmes such as The Great Taste Awards.

Observer food critic and celebrity TV chef Jay Rayner has lent his support to the scheme. Rayner said: “We can argue long and hard about what winning a national award really says about the quality of what you do, but one thing is certain; as well as giving a much needed boost to your staff they are a way of getting noticed. And in a fiercely competitive market that is invaluable,”

The website will feature the details, deadlines, costs and guidelines for over 300 awards. Visitors to the site simply enter the nature of their business and a tailored timetable of awards will appear on screen.

In addition, the site can be used as a portal for all North West food-related information such as upcoming events, potential funding streams, PR and networking opportunities.

According to Northwest Food Tourism, the site is designed to help the whole food chain – from hotels and restaurants to producers and chefs – showcase their world-class businesses and help the region become synonymous with the highest quality food.

Mary Houston Northwest Food Tourism coordinator said: “The North West is England’s living larder – varied, breathtaking landscapes and food and drink to match. So let’s shout about it. North West Tastes ACE is designed to help the very best food and drink producers, chefs and restaurants enter celebrated food awards, while increasing nationwide interest in the food and drink from the North West. We’re here to guide you, offering free, personalised advice and helping you gain that much deserved recognition – whether it be for your food, menus, culinary skills, restaurant or attraction.

“Winning renowned competitions can help make your brand instantly recognisable throughout the food and tourism industries and provide you with a quality mark that consumers trust. Such endorsements can potentially launch a food or supplier on to the national food landscape, creating household names overnight.”

To visit North West Tastes ACE go to www.nwtastesace.co.uk/website. Or visit our Facebook and Twitter site to provide even more information about awards deadlines, upcoming events and further ways to promote your business.