The Norfolk Food Hub presents an exciting vision for our region - let’s grasp it

Clarke Willis, at Anglia Farmers at Honingham Thorpe. Picture: Bill Smith

Clarke Willis, at Anglia Farmers at Honingham Thorpe. Picture: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant � 2009

The importance of the Norfolk Food Hub cannot be under-estimated and comments of local villages who do not always see the bigger picture is normal in such a visionary development.

The Hub presents a major opportunity for new inward investment into the major sector in our county — the food supply chain.

MORE: Ambitious Easton food hub plan divides rural opinionIn addition to creating long-term sustainable jobs it also fulfils the ambition to link food, drink and agriculture to agri-tech and life science in which Norwich is a world leader, onto developing consumer education and a healthier population.

Norfolk proudly boasts the largest agricultural sector of any county with a total output in 2011 of £1.21bn.

Our county produces 20pc of the UK's vegetables, 12pc of the UK's cereals and 20pc of the UK's potatoes, yet only a miniscule 3pc of the UK's food is processed in Norfolk.

The vast majority of produce is transported out of Norfolk to be processed elsewhere.

The Food Hub will actually reduce vehicle movements in the county, not increase them.

The location of a Norfolk Food Enterprise Zone was announced by Elizabeth Truss, as Secretary of State for Defra, in February 2015 as one of 11 in the UK.

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The hub will be located adjacent to the A47, a short distance from the interchange with the A11 connecting Norfolk to the Midlands and London via the M11.

The link between the Norwich Research Park and the Food Hub is obvious.

It is an ideal location.

So let's grasp the vision now.

Clarke Willis MBE, Group CEO, Anglia Farmers