East Devon business edges ahead

PUBLISHED: 12:30 25 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:54 17 June 2010

IT might not have been the Oscars but the first Edge Ahead awards ceremony last week meant just as much to Sidmouth's food and drink industry. Twelve businesses, from Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Sidford and Newton Poppleford were recognised for high standar

IT might not have been the Oscars but the first Edge Ahead awards ceremony last week meant just as much to Sidmouth's food and drink industry.Twelve businesses, from Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Sidford and Newton Poppleford were recognised for high standards and innovative ideas. The new scheme, introduced last autumn, replaces the former "Seal of Excellence" certificate.The ceremony last week at Knowle saw 21 winners from East Devon receive framed certificates.Among them were 10 gold winners, six silver, and five bronze, who received their awards from the Chairman of EDDC, Councillor Paul Diviani.The standards have been raised and gaining a new certificate is harder than before, but 'Edge Ahead' (East Devon Good Environment and Healthy Eating Award) goes further than just food safety.Restaurants, pubs, cafes, hotels and takeaways scored points for basic hygiene standards, but they are also encouraged to look at food safety, responsible drinking, healthy local food, and environmental impact reduc-tion.Jonathon Moore, owner of Moores' Restaurant, in the High Street, Newton Poppleford, has said: "The secret is good quality locally sourced food, not overly priced and we make sure we vary the menu - people just keep coming back."I don't think there is much more we can do to improve on things and it's just nice to be recognised." Jerry Gosling, of the Mustard Seed cafe and book shop in All Saints Road, Sidmouth, said: "We have always tried to cater for people and their different requirements - we get children in here, and older people who may want healthier eating options, with allergies or requiring smaller portions. Its good to be recognised and we hope to expand the premises now we have planning permission for an extension next door." Councillor Jill Elson, Portfolio Holder Communities, and Environmental Health, said: "I am pleased and impressed that we now have our first group of winners and that the EDDC is promoting the green agenda in encouraging businesses that cook meals to source their food locally and to take care with precious resources such as power and water.

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