Friday, 20 November 2009

Monmouthshire commended at True Taste Food & Drink Awards

Monmouthshire’s food and tourism industry has been honoured at the ‘Wales The True Taste’ Food & Drink Awards for its role in making the county a top food tourism destination.

Monmouthshire achieved a bronze award, having been narrowly beaten to the highest honour of Wales’ official ‘Food Tourism Destination’ by Pembrokeshire, with Blaenafon Cheddar Company achieving silver.

Judges were keen to praise the commitment to quality shown by the local food and hospitality industry in Monmouthshire, as well as the depth to which an enthusiasm for local food has become part of the county’s psyche and an intrinsic element of its tourism offer.

The awards were announced at a gala ceremony held on Thursday night at Abergavenny’s Market Hall, attended by 450 guests drawn from all corners of Wales, including Elin Jones, the Minister for Rural Affairs, and a wide range of representatives from the food and tourism industries.

The application for the award was made jointly by Monmouthshire County Council’s Tourism section and adventa, the Rural Development Programme for Monmouthshire, and follows a year of marketing promotions undertaken to highlight the county’s win last year, the first occasion on which the ‘Food Tourism Destination’ category was included in the awards.

Nicola Smith, Principal Tourism Officer for Monmouthshire County Council, said:

“Although Monmouthshire County Council, together with adventa, submitted the application, this recognition couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work and creativity shown by our numerous local food and drink producers and chefs, and events such as the Abergavenny Food Festival, which bring the use of local food and drink to the forefront of the county’s visitor experience.

‘Wales The True Taste’ is a Welsh Assembly Government initiative which recognises the achievements of artisan producers and hospitality businesses in furthering the interests of the Welsh food industry and promoting the economic benefits of using local food and drink to residents and visitors.

The decision to host the 2009 awards in Monmouthshire was made in response to the county’s status as the first official food tourism destination in Wales, with the historic Market Hall in Abergavenny being chosen as the venue in a bid to get back to the very roots of food production.


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