Firms showcase wares in parliament

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Award-winning local producers were invited to showcase their products at an event in the Houses of Parliament last week.

The Kingdom of Elmet Food Day, organised by MPs Alec Shelbrooke (Wetherby) and Nigel Adams (Tadcaster), was the first of its kind and has been described as a huge success.

On organising the event Mr Shelbrooke told the Wetherby News: “Here in my constituency we have some great Yorkshire producers that have shown real resilience in expanding their family-run businesses and contributing further to our economy.

“A key flank of my six-point plan for Elmet & Rothwell is to support growth in good local jobs so I wanted to organise this inaugural event in Westminster to showcase all that’s great about Yorkshire’s food and drink sector, whilst also providing an opportunity for local businesses to link with new markets.”

The event, attended by the Minister of State for Food & Rural Affairs, coincided with news that unemployment in the Elmet & Rothwell constituency fell to a record low of one per cent in December, with 470 of the 47,000 economically active residents currently seeking employment.

Collingham-based Wharfe Valley Farms was one of the local businesses invited to the food day.

Co-owner Sallyann Kilby said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our products. As a Yorkshire farmer and one of the first rapeseed oil producers in the country it was great to tell our story and showcase our goods to Ministers, MPs, Lords and corporate buyers.”

Collingham Councillor, Ryan Stephenson, also attended the event to promote a campaign to make Leeds a hub for international trade.

Coun Stephenson said: “The Kilby family’s business is just one of a great many local examples of the diverse skillsets that exist within our rural economies.

“Alongside the Government’s new post-Brexit modern industrial strategy, Leeds City Council must now raise its own game by setting a strategy to make Leeds a hub for international trade in the North.”

The Kingdom of Elmet was the historical name for sub-Roman Brittonic kingdom in the area within which the parliamentary constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke MP) and Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams MP) lie.