imago has been flying the flag for Leicestershire food and drink producers, by profiling two of its suppliers and their products at an international trade show.

imago exhibited at International Confex 2008, a pivotal show for conference centres around the globe at Earls Court, London, and took samples from renowned Leicestershire producers Belvoir Fruit Farms and Dickinson & Morris. Emma Boynton, Head of Sales for imago, explains: "This year at imago we have made a conscious decision to source as much food and drink as possible from local suppliers. With such an abundance of top class producers in the county, there is much to choose from that delights our delegates and visitors and boosts our environmental credentials." Last year imago spent almost £200,000 with local food and beverage suppliers and producers in the region. Emma continued: "We have developed excellent relationships with local suppliers, so when we decided to go to Confex with a locally sourced theme, it seemed a natural progression to ask some of our suppliers to support us at the show. Over 1000 exhibitors from around the globe, from venues to destinations and event support services attend, so it was great for us to be able to promote regional producers on an international platform." Belvoir Fruit Farms supplied imago with a selection of presses and juices to take to Confex. Emma said: "The presses and juices were very well received by delegates. It was pretty warm at Confex and everyone commented on how refreshing the Elderflower Presse was, and how unique the flavour tasted." Ben Hicklin is Channel Manager for Belvoir Fruit Farms. "At Belvoir Fruit Farms we are relatively small producers, so when a large organisation such as imago offers the chance to showcase our products on an international platform, we obviously jumped at the chance." Ben added: "It is great for Belvoir Fruit Farms to work with another organisation who pride themselves on the same standards of high quality that we do." Delegates were also treated to Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Melton Hunt Cake, courtesy of local producer, Dickinson & Morris. Emma said: "Many of the visitors to Confex are national and international, so although they may have heard of Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Melton Hunt Cake, they may not have necessarily tried either of the products." Stephen Hallam is Managing Director for Dickinson & Morris. "I think the idea of taking regional suppliers to a national show was an excellent idea. Melton Mowbray Pork Pies are synonymous with Leicestershire and quality and at any exhibition they always rouse an interest from delegates. I think having the Pork Pies on stand will have given imago an edge at Confex and certainly will have provided a talking point!" Emma continued: "The feedback we had from delegates at Confex was excellent. Everyone enjoyed the cake, pork pies and beverages. Comments from delegates were also good surrounding the issue that imago was willing to support local producers. We started working more closely with local suppliers and producers after feedback from our delegates, so it is great for us to be able to come to an international show like Confex and show our customers that we have listened and have acted on their wishes."

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