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The Midcounties Co-operative launches Dragons’ Den-style competition for Gloucestershire’s food and drink suppliers

PUBLISHED: 11:40 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:40 03 December 2018

Phil Ponsonby, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative with local food and drink suppliers at the launch of the Food Glorious Food competition

Phil Ponsonby, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative with local food and drink suppliers at the launch of the Food Glorious Food competition

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Applications are now open for a new competition that will give people from Gloucestershire the chance to see their food and drink products or ideas appear on supermarket shelves across the county

The Midcounties Co-operative has launched a new Food Glorious Food competition which will award £10,000 in cash for the best regionally-produced food or drink idea or product.

Open to everyone, whether they are an existing producer, a farmer looking to diversify, or simply someone with a great idea, the competition is designed to highlight all that is great about Gloucestershire food and drink.

�Supporting local suppliers is at the heart of what we do.�Supporting local suppliers is at the heart of what we do."

The winner will be able to use the £10,000 to invest in their product, which will join Midcounties’ Best of our Counties range and be sold in all 52 of its Gloucestershire food stores.

Shortlisted entrants will get the chance to pitch their products and ideas to a panel of local food and drink experts. Runners up will be given the opportunity to sell their products in selected Midcounties’ food stores and win a free one-day business skills course at Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

Local food supplier Todenham Manor FarmLocal food supplier Todenham Manor Farm

The Food Glorious Food competition forms part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s long-standing efforts to support Gloucestershire producers through its Best of our Counties initiative. 42 Gloucestershire food and drink businesses currently work with Midcounties Co-operative through Best of our Counties, including Hillside Brewery, which supplies beers to over 120 Midcounties stores across the country.

Paul Williamson, director of Hillside Brewery said: “The support we have received from The Midcounties Co-operative has been instrumental in allowing us to grow our business, helping us to reach areas we would never be able to get to on our own. There’s a real focus on both quality and local sourcing, which made them the perfect retail partner for us.

Local food suppliers Mudwalls and Simon WeaverLocal food suppliers Mudwalls and Simon Weaver

“I can speak from experience when I say that securing investment at those early stages can make all the difference. What is perhaps even more useful for local suppliers and individuals, however, is the stamp of approval that you receive from being listed by a major retailer and the ongoing mentoring and support offered by Midcounties.

“The Food Glorious Food competition is a unique opportunity for local businesses to work with a dedicated team that is committed to helping put Gloucestershire producers on the map.”

Phil Ponsonby, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative, launches the Food Glorious Food competitionPhil Ponsonby, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative, launches the Food Glorious Food competition

Phil Ponsonby, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Supporting local suppliers is at the heart of what we do. Through our Best of our Counties range we are promoting more than 40 local producers and this latest campaign is designed to extend that even further.

“For the winning idea or product there is the offer of a cash injection and guaranteed listing across all of our Gloucestershire stores. However, we will be looking to work closely with all those who enter to provide access to industry experts and for the runners up shelf space in selected stores.”

The Midcounties Co-operative Food Glorious Food campaign is being run in conjunction with Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Folk2Folk, and The Growth Hub.

To enter the Food Glorious Food competition simply provide details of your new food and drink idea at foodgloriousfood.coop.

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