MPs to host food fair at House of Commons to show off Derbyshire's best
A DERBYSHIRE food and drink fair will be held at the House of Commons in a bid to promote the county's best grub to national politicians and media.
The 15-table fair has been organised by South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler and Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills, with the backing of all the county's other MPs.
It will feature leading companies such as chocolatier Thorntons, the Chatsworth farm shop and Derby-based Indian cuisine firm S&A Foods.
And there will be a host of independent producers including Janjo's, of Ilkeston, which makes afternoon teas delivered to people's doors, and Scropton Cider.
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Dickie Allen, joint-owner of the cider makers, said he was delighted to have been invited by Mrs Wheeler.
He said: "We are hoping to raise the profile of the business.
"Hopefully the Prime Minister will come and sample our cider but any high-profile names will be useful.
"We'll have a camera with us so we can take pictures for local advertising."
Mr Allen said his company would be bringing three different ciders to the fair, Derbyshire Dry, Doris Stokes Medium and Nutcracker Sweet.
A Thornton's spokeswoman said the fair would be "a great opportunity".
She said: "At the event we'll be sampling our new Eton Mess bar, which was the winner of our Great Chocolate Britain competition, when we asked the public to suggest and vote for the British flavour that best represented their region and which they'd like to see created into a chocolate bar.
"We're also hoping to preview some of our new toffee flavours and new chocolates in our Classics range."
The fair will take place throughout the day on Tuesday, April 16.
The Tourist Board and Visit England will also be there to highlight sites and attractions in Derbyshire.
Mrs Wheeler said she was proud of the county's produce and was keen to show off what it had to offer.
She said: "We feel that the breadth and depth of food and drink in Derbyshire deserves national recognition and this day will help it achieve that.
"Westminster is a village of 5,000 people who will be sampling the produce.
"And there will be national and regional press there, newspapers, television, so it gets the food and drink out to a wider audience."
Mr Mills said the fair would "offer local producers a great chance to show members of both Houses, from across the United Kingdom, the great food and drink that we have on offer".
Derbyshire County Council, which organises the county's annual food and drink fair, is also working on the Commons event to ensure MPs and journalists get to see as much produce as possible.