A SCHEME to promote food and drink produced entirely in Northumberland is celebrating its 100th business member.

Produced in Northumberland (PiN) is a business initiative developed and delivered by the county council’s housing and public protection service in partnership with tourism development and local food and drink businesses throughout the county.

Launched in February 2015, the verification scheme guarantees the provenance of local food and drink products and has successfully contributed to the economic impact of Northumberland.

Hexham’s Coun. Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism added: “The true value of the region’s fantastic produce cannot be underestimated. The Produced in Northumberland scheme gives businesses a real platform to push their products and get the recognition they truly deserve.”

The economic impact of food tourism in the county was worth almost £302m in 2018, an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to £290.38m in 2017 and accounts for 36 per cent of all tourism expenditure and 31 per cent of all tourism employment.

Producers who wish to be part of the scheme are inspected by Trading Standards and Environmental Health officers who verify that the food and drinks sold are made in Northumberland. Once accepted as part of the scheme, businesses can then display the official Produced in Northumberland logo and certificate.