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Food Drink Devon appoints new chair as membership hits record levels

Greg Parsons

Food Drink Devon has appointed Greg Parsons, managing director of Sharpham Cheese, as its new chairperson.

This announcement comes at a time when Food Drink Devon has recorded its highest ever membership numbers, meaning that it now represents more than 330 food and drink producers, retailers, hospitality venues and related businesses dedicated to serving up the best produce from the county.

Mike Young, vice chair, said: “We are delighted to announce Greg Parsons has agreed to become chair of Food Drink Devon, having served on the board for a year already.

“He is owner of Sharpham Cheese and also recently set up The South West Food Hub, a community interest company that aims to facilitate public sector procurement for smaller food and drink producers in the area.

“Greg has a wealth of experience in this industry, having worked across manufacturing, sales and marketing for a range of businesses including some really big brands. In all, Greg has worked for over 20 years in the dairy industry and even more in food and hospitality, making him the perfect choice to help Food Drink Devon support and promote its members during this period of rapid change.”

Greg said: “I am Devon born and bred and am incredibly passionate about the fantastic local produce in this bountiful area of the country. Combining that passion with my broad industry experience, I hope, will stand me in good stead to take on the role of chair during such a dynamic time for the organisation and the local food and drink scene.

“The past year-and-a-half has been incredibly challenging for the membership but, with such an outstanding network of  producers, hospitality businesses and retailers in our county, I am confident that the future is incredibly bright and I am thrilled to be able to play a small part in it.”

Greg succeeds Barbara King, former managing director of The Shops at Dartington, who held the position for five years and retired at the beginning of 2021.

Mike added: “Barbara King was a fantastic chair, working tirelessly to direct Food Drink Devon through a strong growth phase, and we knew that she would be a very hard act to follow when she stood down from the role.

“We are delighted that Greg has agreed to take up the reins and build on all the amazing work that Barbara has done. On behalf of everyone at Food Drink Devon, I would like to thank Barbara for her outstanding contribution and welcome Greg to his new role.”

Food Drink Devon is a not-for-profit membership organisation of food and drink producers, retailers, hospitality venues and related businesses dedicated to serving up the best produce from the county. With a focus on quality, sustainability and provenance, Food Drink Devon’s aim is to support and promote their members and raise Devon’s culinary profile as a whole.

For more information visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk and follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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