This week we had the pleasure of persuading ITV Central Tonight to cover a story about the continued success of small food and drinks businesses and their growing importance to the rural economy.
At the centre of the story was Martin Moyden and his company, Mr Moyden’s Handmade Cheese. Martin was a farmer who started to make cheese six years ago as part of a longterm plan to diversify his business interests.
Late last year, that led to him giving up farming and concentrating fully on making his award-winning and utterly delicious cheese in a new dairy at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury.
In my opinion, Martin’s achievements make a great story in themselves. However, to tickle ITV’s news taste buds, we had to develop the theme slightly and show how his success was just one example of how food and drink companies are the new tigers of the rural economy (nifty eh?).
Heart of England Fine Foods, which runs the food enterprise centre, helped by providing some compelling region-wide facts and news lines plus a strong interviewee in Karen Davies, their chief executive.
Ivan Watkiss, owner of Cooper’s Gourmet Sausage Rolls, also based at the centre, agreed to let the cameras in to see his great success story too – and Battlefield 1403 farm shop, one of Martin’s customers, agreed to be featured as well – so reporter Katy Fawcett could cover the consumer end of the story.
The complete package gave ITV Central Tonight the reason it needed to cover the story – and Martin got the publicity he deserves, along with, to varying extents given the vagaries of television news, the other participants. So a great team effort that proves even the business minnows can get noticed by the media big fish.
Thank you to everyone who helped.