Barbara King Announced as the New Chair of Food & Drink Devon

Food & Drink Devon is delighted to announce that Barbara King, managing director of The Shops at Dartington, has taken over the role of chair from the beginning of July.

With years of experience in retail, as well as working with food and drink producers from across Devon, Barbara's fresh outlook will open up new opportunities for Food & Drink Devon to help shout about this dynamic and enterprising county, its producers, hospitality businesses and services.

Commenting on her new position, Barbara Kings says: “It's an honour to have been asked to step up to the role of chair of Food & Drink Devon, taking over the reins from Michael Smith, who will be a hard act to follow!  After sitting on the board of directors for almost five years, it is fantastic to see how the organisation has become a name which all those involved in the food and drink industry, from start-ups to leading Devon brands, want to be affiliated with.”  Barbara continues: “I look forward to exploring different ways of putting Devon's food and drink on the map, and working with both new and existing members, creating long-lasting relationships that will benefit the county.”  On a final note, Barbara adds: “I'd like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the board, to thank Michael for all he has done over the past eight years in the role of chairman.  Michael has put an enormous amount of hard work and dedication into the organisation, and has seen the county's reputation for food and drink flourish.” 

Commenting on the new appointment, Michael Smith, former chair and co-owner of The Venus Company, says: “The board and I are thrilled that Barbara is Food & Drink Devon's new chair. Barbara is passionate about local produce, has a great eye for creativity and runs a business which reflects this, which is why she is perfect for this position.” Michael continues: “The Venus Company will still remain a member and proud supporter of Food & Drink Devon.”

As well as a brand new website launched earlier this year, Food & Drink Devon has just released the 2016/17 issue of their members' guide. The 'Love the Flavour' annual guidebooks will be distributed this summer by members across the county. It is also available in the Exeter Airport Aviation Lounge and the First Class Lounge in Paddington Station. These trusty guides are a 'go-to' reference book for industry experts, good food loving locals and tourists alike.  Food & Drink Devon is also in the midst of judging for its prestigious awards. Amongst those judging has been some of the leading food and drink residents of the county, including BBC1's Saturday Kitchen's drinks' expert Susy Atkins. The awards will be presented on Monday 10th October in the impressive new Orangery at the Deer Park Country House Hotel by BBC Radio 2's food and drink expert Nigel Barden.     

Food & Drink Devon is the county's only dedicated membership organisation supporting quality, provenance, sustainability and trading across the food and drink sector.  It has over 250 Devon-based members, including cookery schools, hotels, speciality retailers and farmers' markets.  

2016 is proving to be an exciting year for Devon's food and drink sector.  To keep up to date with Devon's food and drink news please visit and follow @lovetheflavour on Twitter.

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