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The area’s cheese gets a thumbs up from the PM

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: April 19, 2013

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AN ASHBOURNE cheese-making firm has been among a small group of Derbyshire food producers showcasing their wares to some of the country’s top politicians.

Hartington Creamery, which is bringing back production of Stilton to the county, headed down to the House of Commons for a day as part of a scheme to show off the diversity of food and drink produced in Derbyshire.

The newly-established firm set up a stall alongside big names such as Thorntons Chocolates, Birds the Confectioners, and Chatsworth Farm Shop, to offer samples of their cheese to passing MPs and parliamentary workers as part of the Derbyshire County Council-backed project, ‘Derbyshire Day’.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who found time to turn up to try samples, said: “I was delighted to attend Derbyshire Food and Drinks Fair in the Houses of Parliament, which was an excellent way to raise the profile of the region and boost tourism.

“Derbyshire is home to many well-known brands, such as Chatsworth and Thorntons, as well as some local producers like Hartington Creamery and Bluebell Dairy, who all provide quality local food and drink which I thoroughly enjoyed sampling.

“Well done to all the local MPs who organised the event and thanks to all the producers for coming down to showcase the very best of British.”

Among other Government heavyweights calling in to try samples on the day were Commons Speaker John Bercow, Commons Deputy Speaker, Nigel Evans, Food Minister David Heath, and the Chancellor, George Osborne.

Mr Osborne said: “Derbyshire food is so strong. You’ve got so many businesses, from the Chatsworth Farm Shop right down to small local farmers. It’s great to see the county showcasing its finest here in the House of Commons.”

The event, which was run and supported by MPs from the area including Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin, saw hundreds of MPs sampling chocolate, cheese, wine, beer, pies and other local delicacies.

Nigel Mills MP said: “Today our county was able to show to MPs from all over the country what Derbyshire has to offer. This event was an excellent way of raising awareness of the concerns of local food and drink producers in an historic setting.”

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler added: “The day has been a great success—Derbyshire’s food and drink has been the talk of Parliament.

“I can’t thank all our producers enough for giving their time to promote and highlight to some of our top politicians the need to support our local food and drink Industry.”

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