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Northwest artisan food producer shortlisted for a major regional award

Mark and Maria Whitehead, co-owners of Hawkshead Relish, based at Esthwaite Old Hall Barn, near Hawkshead, discovered on Friday 05th April, that the company has been shortlisted for the Export Award in the annual Made In The North West Awards 2024.

The Lakes District based company employing 30 people from across the local area, makes a wide range of award-winning relishes, chutneys and preserves. Using locally sourced all-natural ingredients and traditional open pan small batch production. All products in their handmade range of over 100 products are free from nuts and gluten, all are vegetarian with the majority also being vegan.

As a company Hawkshead Relish works closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT), frequently attending successful overseas trade missions to explore new markets.

Whilst the company’s main customer focus is within the UK, their International exports are growing steadily with the company trading with around a dozen countries around the world including Canada which has seen particular growth in recent years. Since Brexit, the firm has found trade in the EU difficult and only now in 2024 is that trade starting to return, manufacturing and shipping an order for 30,000 bottles of Worcestershire Sauce for the French Market earlier this spring.

Having navigated the export process successfully themselves over a number of years the business also acts as an Export Champion for the DIT North West, showcasing to others the opportunities and benefits of exporting to new markets.

The Made in the Northwest Awards now in their 12th year are designed to recognise and celebrate the variety and excellence of the region’s manufacturing industries which are a pivotal sector in the North West economy, with the region’s manufacturers remaining among the most innovative and dynamic in the world.

This year there are a total of 12 award categories celebrating manufacturing excellence including Manufacturing Innovation, Sustainable & Ethical Manufacturing, Food & Drink, Digital Manufacturing, and Manufacturing Start-up.

Now the Relish team have to wait until the black-tie awards dinner being held at Manchester Central on 23rd May to find out how they fare in their shortlisted category alongside teams from four other manufacturing companies, Fabulosa, Metamark, KBF Enterprises and MattressTek who have also been shortlisted in their category.

Hawkshead Relish MD Jonathan Robb remarked:  “We are so thrilled to have been shortlisted within this group, exports are very much a growing area for us, and it’s great to see that our hard work is returning results in Europe post Brexit”

Hawkshead Relish co-founder Maria Whitehead MBE said: “ it’s very exciting to have been shortlisted in this category, we feel very honoured and it’s a real credit to our whole team”

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Editor’s Notes: 1/ For further information about: Prices, Stockists visit: email: [email protected] or telephone 015394 36614. 2/ Details of this year’s shortlisted finalist can be found at can be found at:

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