East Anglia: Tastes of Anglia boss plans to ‘rebuild it to what it should be’

Robert Gunn is Chairman of Tastes of Anglia, a company that represents local food producers.

Robert Gunn is Chairman of Tastes of Anglia, a company that represents local food producers. - Credit: Archant

Local food body Tastes of Anglia became “too narrow and inward-looking”, chair Robert Gunn said as he set out his plan to rebuild it “to what it should be”.

Mr Gunn, who was involved in this year’s sale of the organisation’s trading arm to Elveden Farms Ltd, said it had been “a turbulent year”. “The sale of the trading business and the closure of the Witnesham office, seeing loyal staff take redundancy and others head off to join Elveden was the end of an era,” he said. “Unfortunately we had no choice. The business was not strong enough to recover on its own.

“We are now in the process of closing Tastes of Anglia Trading Ltd. Again, I would like to thank members and others for their patience. As monies owed to the organisation are received we are gradually paying down the debt. This will continue through the first quarter of next year.”

The organisation now has no staff and he and the ToA bookkeeper were both working on a self-employed basis from home, with costs cut to “the absolute minimum”, he said.

“However, it is my intention to rebuild ToA to what it should be – a true promoter of the regions food and drink industry at all levels. When I set out on this path I had no idea if there would be any interest or indeed a requirement for a revitalised ToA. I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received.

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“In recent years ToA has been too narrow and inward looking. I am working hard to make changes and will be writing up a strategy document over the Christmas holiday.”

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