Tourism chiefs launch breakfast campaign

TOURISM chiefs have launched a drive to encourage “full Suffolk” breakfasts as they try to promote the county's foods. The Suffolk Breakfast Initiative is being run by the Suffolk Tourism Partnership to persuade hospitality businesses to use locally-sourced ingredients such as sausages, bacon and eggs.

TOURISM chiefs have launched a drive to encourage “full Suffolk” breakfasts as they try to promote the county's foods.

The Suffolk Breakfast Initiative is being run by the Suffolk Tourism Partnership to persuade hospitality businesses to use locally-sourced ingredients such as sausages, bacon and eggs.

According to the partnership, an estimated 20% of the UK's pork originates from Suffolk while research by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shows that 72% of holidaymakers and day-trippers have taken an interest in local food and drink.

Jim Brown, of Suffolk Development Agency's Tourism Partnership, said the launch event was an opportunity to show the Suffolk farmers that the tourism and hospitality sector was trying to support them.

“We are increasingly aware of local produce now and as a visitor, experiencing this during a leisure or business trip can add to the distinctive experience you have,” he said.

“We hope that cafes, restaurants, pubs and accommodation businesses that serve a breakfast meal will sign up to participate in the Suffolk Breakfast Initiative. Pig farming is very evident as you travel through the county and it's a great opportunity to link farming, food and tourism together.”

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The launch, held at the Suffolk Food Hall at Wherstead, included a presentation on pig farming by Suffolk pig farmer Chris Fogden, of the Euston Estate, near Thetford Forest.

“Suffolk has an abundance of light soils,” said Mr Fogden. “The mild climate and the large scale of grain growing means that Suffolk leads the world in high welfare, healthy, outdoor, free range and indoor, straw bedded systems of pig keeping. The breeds used and the cereal diets ensure excellent quality and flavour.”

Businesses participating in the Suffolk Breakfast Initiative will be sent a certificate which they can display. It encourages customers or guests to ask about the food they are served and to consider shopping locally.

Sally Budden, owner of Sidegate Guesthouse and one of the first in the Ipswich area to sign up to the scheme, said using local ingredients was always appreciated by guests.

“A cooked breakfast is a special treat for many of our guests who rarely get the chance to cook their own most mornings when at home,” she said. “We've been using locally-produced sausages, bacon and eggs for a number of years and it complements the quality approach we've developed for our guests.”

Last July, the Suffolk Development Agency's Tourism Partnership developed the Tasty Suffolk website at www.tastysuffolk.org.uk to encourage visitors to go out and experience local produce during their holiday or visit.

Later this year, East of England Tourism will focus one of its key marketing campaigns on food and drink tourism.