Produced in Northumberland
Produced in Northumberland is the brain child of Dawn Goodwill-Evans (Active Northumberland) and Ken Henderson (Fair Trading Officer at Northumberland County Council). It is a verification scheme designed to make Northumbrian products identifiable by the Produced in Northumberland trade mark.
PDO or a PGI is a protected trade name, in accordance with European legislation (an example of this are Melton Mowbray pork pies). The consumer is becoming increasingly aware of provenance of their food and drink, and since more and more people are looking locally for their produce, it is very important that the customer can trust the advertising. Northumberland has a wealth of fine producers in the region, and Dawn and Ken thought it would be wonderful to have a kind of PDO for Northumberland. The display of the logo above is a symbol that a producer or establishment has been verified as Northumbrian by the council. It's that simple.
Dawn and Ken have been working on this since the beginning of last year. A huge amount of thought and time has been dedicated to the scheme. Dawn also set-up a focus group, which we were delighted to be a member of: with other producers, PR figures and faces from Visit Northumberland, it really felt like there were a fantastic team of people behind it. We were consulted on everything, from logo to legislation, and what was always evident at the end of the meetings was that there was a lot of passion, enthusiasm and pride behind Northumberland.
At this stage, the website is live, and the scheme is growing: at the moment, there are 55 companies enlisted in the scheme, and there are many more currently undergoing verification. The verification regulations depend on the type of establishment, but they aren't ridiculous (geographical location is paramount, along with number of products used from the region for hospitality, and use of regional ingredients for producers).
The symbol is extremely important for the credibility of Northumbrian produce. The word 'local' has become extremely fashionable in marketing terms, and this logo guarantees that a product or place has been throughly verified as Northumbrian by the council. Cornwall has a very similar scheme, which you can read about here.
We are extremely proud to be part of this wonderful scheme; despite being named 'Northumberland Cheese Company', we have no legislation attached to naming our company as such. As it happens, we source our cows' milk from less than 2 miles away, and all of our produce is made on site. But displaying the Produced in Northumberland logo gives customers a way to trust in the provenance of their items, and we think that is hugely important too. For further information, contact Ken or Dawn.