Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company (CIC) is a not-for-profit organisation, co-directed by Hilary Knight and Paula Seager, to manage a range of projects to support local farming and the food and drink industry. It aims to increase sales and support within the local market and to help build the profile of local food on a national level.
Natural Partnerships CIC manages the Sussex Food & Drink Awards with exactly this intention in mind, supporting rural businesses in the region.
The patron of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards is Sally Gunnell OBE DL
This is my sixth year as patron for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and I believe that fresh produce is both good for your health and supports your local community.
I continue to support these awards because they positively encourage people to buy local and to support their local producers. In the last 12 years the awards have received over 3300 nominations and 113,000 public votes promoting 276 Grand Finalists. It’s an outstanding achievement.
I want to thank all participants in the awards this year who have all worked so hard to make Sussex food and drink the success it is. And thank you to the Natural Partnerships CIC, who organise the awards as a not for profit scheme to benefit our local food and drink community.
Sally Gunnell OBE DL
Founder of Natural PR Ltd, a leading PR agency in the South East in terms of passion for local produce and managing campaigns and projects which boost the local market. Their work includes Business to Consumer as well as Business to Business campaigns. Among many other clients, we manage the media relations and PR for South of England Agricultural Society. www.naturalpr.biz
Founder of the Sussex Food & Drink Network, an established network offering support to local producers, who has worked in the food sector her whole career. She set up and ran the food group, A Taste of Sussex, as part of the former Sussex Enterprise for almost 8 years and during this time came to recognise the need for networking amongst suppliers and buyers as well as between each other. www.sussexfoodnetwork.co.uk
Through our projects we bring together the whole local food and farming community. We always work in partnership with others in the public, private and charity sectors and it is through these strong relationships that we are able to achieve great things.
Another high profile scheme, which is managed by Natural Partnerships CIC, is www.southdownsfood.org – which helps tourists and local residents to find local producers and the retail and hospitality outlets which sell and serve their fare in the South Downs National Park and a 10 mile radius.