Surrey Hills Enterprises gathered key figures from across Surrey on Friday 11th May 2018 for Surrey’s Rural Economy Conference opened by Michael More-Molyneux, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and Patron of Surrey Hills Enterprises. The Conference was generously sponsored by Land & Water.
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gave the Key Note speech emphasising with great passion and commitment the importance of the environment and the need to focus on building a rural economy based on quality local products that reflect the special nature of Surrey’s countryside.
Michael Gove emphasised the importance of safeguarding the environment to ensure we have sustainable growth over time. He congratulated the Surrey businesses being celebrated at the Conference as they demonstrate high quality products which are contributing to economic growth and at the same time are routed in their local environment’.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
“We are continuing to see the rural British economy go from strength to strength, with food and drink exports soaring, farm incomes increasing and rural enterprises thriving.
Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “I was delighted to be able to share a stage with Michael Gove. He is as determined to preserve and enhance the nation’s countryside as I am about ensuring everyone can continue to take in Surrey’s stunning views for many decades and providing a better experience for all.”
Simon Whalley, Chairman of Surrey Hills Enterprises, said ‘at a time of great challenge as well as opportunities, I believe that it is collaboration and partnerships that inspires creative solutions to the development of Surrey’s rural economy. Businesses that reflect and support their local environment such as the Trade Mark Awardees have inspiring stories that also provide them with a market advantage. Our heritage is our future and we have the opportunity to make a real difference for current and future generations and protect our beautiful Surrey countryside and heritage’.
Presentations from some of Surrey’s leading rural businesses included the challenges and opportunities for farmers by Tim Metson of Coverwood Farm, the key success factors for rural businesses by Chris White, Chief Executive of Denbies Wine Estate and securing funding support by Ian McCulloch of Silent Pool Distillery.
Surrey’s Rural Economy Conference is one of a number of initiatives organised by Surrey Hills Enterprises, a Community Interest Company, working to support the rural economy and to promote, protect and enhance the beautiful Surrey Hills.