Theme 4

Strengthen the local sustainable food economy

The Good Food Business Network has now been merged with Food and Drink North East (FADNE). Chris Jewitt (Managing Director, Food and Drink North East) is the lead for this theme.

Food and Drink North East (FADNE) is an in industry led cluster looking to leverage its influence by developing an inclusive food culture across the North East.


Food and Drink North East is a CIC that will build a vibrant and engaged community that champions positive trade, promotes a sustainable, circular economy and acts as a collective and inclusive voice for the region’s food and drink sector. We will grow the sector’s contribution to the regional economy to 10% GVA by 2025.



To have a world class reputation for quality food production, an incubator for innovative start-ups and manufacturing as well as celebrated as a gastronomic destination with heritage, sustainability, provenance and community at its heart.


For too long the North East’s food and drink sector has been overlooked. While other regions have flourished, we have hidden in the shadows of our industrial past.

A lack of identity and several attempts to redefine the North East as one homogeneous place failed to take into account a region that is fiercely proud of celebrating its tribal differences from Teesside, Wearside, Tyneside and Northumberland

As a consequence, a victim of reinvention, the ‘food identity’ of the North East has struggled to make sense of itself.

From Tyneside, Wearside, County Durham and Northumberland. Pan Haggerty to Primula Cheese. Parmo to Pease Pudding. These are our stories. A rich food culture to be proud of.

Despite all of this, we continue to trail our Northern neighbours by 10% and rank as the lowest performing sector in the region and the UK overall in terms of contribution to the regional economy.

‘Local Heroes’ campaign

The North East Food and Drink sector has rallied around FADNE’s ‘Local Heroes’ virtual market initiative. Kick-started at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, local businesses large and small have reached deep to help fundraise.

Food and Drink North East (FADNE) consulted with over 165 food and drink producers from across our region. Asking them how the COVID-19 crisis will effect their businesses. The results were startling, to say the least, with many stating the resultant down-turn in trade would mean they could go out of business within one to three months.

Food and Drink North East is creating the Local Heroes initiative. An online food market that promotes, sells and delivers high-quality local North East food and drink to homes and people across our region.

As well as helping local businesses large and small each Local Heroes order will include a 10-15% ‘community premium’ to ensure we can supply free boxes and meals to the most vulnerable and hardest hit in our communities such as low-income families, the socially isolated, NHS staff etc.

This initiative is a proactive and coordinated response. The aim is to connect local people to local food like never before. For more information sign up here


Food and Drink North East
c/o Studio 6, The Kiln, Hoults Yard, Hoults Estate,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 1AB

T: 0191 224 8919