…here’s a copy of my reply (originally posted on Gary’s blog):
Interesting views Gary and I tend to agree with them – I too spotted a number of very non-Norfolk producers (some better than others) and wondered why locals weren’t better represented.
Looking for some decent bread, and having skirted the Mediterranean stand, I came across a bread stall that looked OK but carried no name. In a rush I bought what they claimed to be a sour dough loaf and headed home – only to find it was a bland pappy bread masquerading as an artisan product (not a hint of sour dough to my taste buds) – I should have saved my pounds and gone to Dozen on Newmarket Street – a shop that still sells real bread.
For what it’s worth, the Norfolk Show has improved (I have been a few times over the last 40 years). There are more local food producers and their produce is much better. However, there still seems to be a large number of what I can only describe as corporate, mock regional stands. These appear to be supplied by one or two companies that can put up 20 such stalls at 20 different venues on the same day (all staffed by temporary workers never the real owners).
I am sure cost is an issue – but I suspect the attitude of the show organisers also plays its part – perhaps they don’t realise how much people value local producers – as such, perhaps they don’t go out of their way to make the food hall a showcase for the very best of Norfolk food and drink – let’s hope the EDP Food Festival does a better job in the autumn.