At the heart of Ludlow Food Festival is provenance, locality, sustainability and, vitally, collaboration. Celebrating the potential for growth and development when food and drink producers work together, the festival provides the ideal opportunity for local businesses to champion each other in supportive group ventures.
The 24th Ludlow Food Festival, which opens on 7 September, will feature a number of successful collaborations.
One particularly exciting example is between Moyden’s Cheese and Bennett and Dunn; Martin Moyden and Rupert Bennett have recently been awarded Silver and Bronze in the Best New Product Award at Ludlow Food Festival for their jointly-produced cheeses.
Rupert from Bennett and Dunn says, “Small businesses in Shropshire are so much better when they work collaboratively rather than on their own and this is a clear case in point. We can’t wait for everyone to taste [our cheese] at the Festival.”
Also working closely together are Sytch Farm Studios, Paso-Primero, Shropshire Salumi and Appleby’s, combining their experiences in ceramics, wine, meats and cheeses.
Tom Holt from Paso-Primero, a local winemaker, talks warmly about his work with other producers.
"For me, collaborations are one of the most exciting benefits of working as an independent producer in such a tight knit community as Shropshire,” he says. “It's afforded me the opportunities to meet like minded artisans who care and craft their products with the same passion that I do.”
Tom continues, “We've worked closely with Will at Shropshire Salumi to not just serve wines with handcrafted charcuterie but develop new flavour profiles and to use each other's platforms to take our own businesses to new audiences. Beyond the products themselves, the support that Will has given our business and myself personally has been invaluable.”
Talking with equally bright enthusiasm about the collaboration, Gill Thompson from Sytch Farm Studios explains the shared passions and care of people in each business.
“It’s not something we ever plan,” says Gill, discussing the collaboration. “There just happens to be a load of fantastic makers/producers around this area and on the whole everyone is so supportive of each other.
“If you know you can work together in any way - why not!”