For centuries, if not longer, food has been central to Suffolk life, identity, and passions. So it was a huge pleasure to host, with Jo Churchill MP, the West Suffolk Food Fair in Parliament last week.
I think that it is important for MPs to work together for Suffolk.
Our intention was to showcase the finest food and drink that our region had to offer and I certainly think we achieved that.
I’m hugely grateful to the wide range of exhibitors, who got up at the crack of dawn, and trooped into London with banners and their produce, with every apple and sausage thoroughly searched and scanned by the Parliamentary security team.
The range of food on display was delicious. From beef stew to ham and Newmarket Pantry’s black pudding scotch eggs, all washed down with wine from Wyken Vineyards, and beer from Greene King.
Among the hundreds of visitors, I spotted the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss MP drop in and was pleased to have the opportunity for Jo Churchill and me to take her around the various exhibitors. Elizabeth had photos with many businesses and they were also listed on her official Ministerial twitter page.
As the crowd grew, and with the produce diminishing by the minute, it was great to see the Prime Minister appear unexpectedly and take time to meet personally all the exhibitors who made the long journey down to Westminster.
His visit proved to be the icing of the cake on what was a great day. I took great pleasure in seeing different businesses of various size from Suffolk using this unique opportunity to network and talk to a huge range of people including the Prime Minister about their business.
We really did showcase the best of Suffolk in Parliament and I hope we can run another event like this in the future. I thank all those who exhibited, attended and helped Jo and I make this happen.
-- Matthew Hancock is MP for West Suffolk