Food and Drink North East (FADNE) has launched an initiative to support the region's food and drink industry through Covid-19 and beyond in the form of #LocalHeroesNE.
There are 800,000 jobs in food and drink in the North East and, in a recent survey of the FADNE network, 74% stated that their operations wouldn't survive more than three months (of continued lockdown) putting an average of five jobs per business at risk.
The virtual market will provide a platform for local food and drink businesses to be able to continue selling their goods during the lockdown, and to attract new customers and ensure long-term sustainability and employment.
Seven themed food boxes have been launched, featuring a wide range of fresh and store-cupboard ingredients, all sourced from North East-based businesses. The ‘Discovery Boxes' are available for free delivery to NE1, NE2, NE3 and NE4 postcodes for now, with wider distribution expected over the coming weeks.
Each Discovery Box (other than the ‘Butcher's Block') is priced at £35 per box. Customers can also build their own box or add extras into the themed boxes. For full details and to order, visit https://localheroes.fadne.org.
The purchase of every box includes a 10% ‘community fund' that will be used to support the organisations working with the vulnerable and socially isolated. The first beneficiary of the fund will be Newcastle West End Foodbank, a member of the Trussell Trust and one of the UK's busiest food banks.
The boxes will change weekly and will include produce from a wide range of North East-based brands and businesses.