A NEW campaign focusing on the region’s farmers and food producers has been launched by Cornish Mutual.

Celebrating the people behind our produce, Real Food Heroes aims to put the spotlight on the region’s farms and rural businesses.

The campaign was launched with Lesley Waters, a chef featuring on TV who runs her own cookery school in Halstock in West Dorset.

She said: “I am delighted to hear that more and more people are choosing to shop locally.

"If you have good quality ingredients, then you don't need to do too much to them to bring out their flavours, and you have the added benefit that you support local producers, farmers and their families at the same time.”

New research by the rural insurer found that south west consumers are buying more local produce than this time last year.

The main reason that people gave for choosing local food was to give support for local farmers.

Alan Goddard, Cornish Mutual's managing director, said: “From Cheddar cheese to Portland lamb, Red Ruby Devon beef to Cornish clotted cream, we think the south west makes some of the best food in the world.

“It is fantastic to see that so many people are choosing homegrown produce to support their local farmers.

"Behind all of our wonderful local produce is a bunch of hardworking people.”