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Producers urge community to buy locally ahead of food and drink festival

PUBLISHED: 17:06 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 24 April 2019

Beccles Food and Drink Festival 2015.

Picture: James Bass

Beccles Food and Drink Festival 2015. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

Festival organisers have urged the community to celebrate local produce, as the town prepares for the annual food and drink festival.

The Beccles Food and Drink Festival will host pastry chef's stall. Picture: Charlotte James Photography & EventsThe Beccles Food and Drink Festival will host pastry chef's stall. Picture: Charlotte James Photography & Events

Paul Parravani, 66, from Chedgrave has asked food lovers from across the region to celebrate goods from the Waveney region ahead of the fifth Beccles Food and Drink Festival.

Mr Parravani said: “We started this five years ago to try and put some of the local food and drink producers on the map.

“They are good at what they do, and sometimes all these people need is help to give them a push.

The former business owner of Parravani's Ice Cream, based in Beccles said more people have switched to buying locally, rather than mass produced goods.

Paul Parravani.  EDP / BBJ Archant © 2008 (01603) 772434Paul Parravani. EDP / BBJ Archant © 2008 (01603) 772434

“A lot of people, I think, don't feel the need to have pasteurised milk, when they could have full cream from someone locally,” he said.

On May 25, more than 70 stalls will set up in the town centre for the annual event.

Mr Parravani said: “We have been blessed with good weather over the last five years, so we are hoping that will continue,” he said.

This year new traders will include artisan Scotch eggs, Greek Cypriot skewers, Suffolk gin and vodka, and bacon relish, mayonnaise as well as mustard.

The Chet and Waveney Valley vineyard in Bergh Apton, near Thurton will also have a stall at next month's festival.

John Hemmant, who is the owner and wine maker at the vineyard said by purchasing local produce, you can experience what the region has to offer.

“I think we are well supported by the community,” Mr Hemmant said.

From May 18 to June 5, the festival will also host their first fringe festival, with local producers and restaurateurs to celebrate food from the Waveney region.

This year 13 events have been organised within 15 miles of Beccles. It will have children's workshops at a local farm, special menus and events at local restaurants will take place.

At Beccles Public Hall, students from East Coast College will be cooking a selection of sausage tasters for the public to vote for their favourite.

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