Taste of the West has launched a range of branded food products from the West Country in an attempt to help local producers capitalise on its name.

For the first time, the regional food group for the south-west of England has lent its moniker to a selected group of local producers, selling everything from sausages to yoghurt and apple juice.

The initiative was cemented by a deal with Budgens, which will see dozens of the branded products sold in two stores in Somerset.

And a spokeswoman said that other, bigger projects were in the pipeline.

It is a first for Budgens, which recently relaunched its meat range to stress its British origin.

Lesley Tout, who owns the two stores in Cheddar and Langford near Bristol, said:

“Local sourcing is becoming increasingly important and customers expect to find locally produced food in their community store.

Sourcing the products through Taste of the West makes it much easier for us.”

Colin Petheram’s Rookery Farm clotted cream was one of the products in the new range.

A sixth-generation dairy farmer with 100 cows near Highbridge, he said the Budgens deal could make the business take off.

“The cream is making up some of the lost profits from dairying, but if we can get more volume through Budgens, we’ll be able to hire a part-time manager.”

The farm produces 10,000 litres of cream a year, as well as fruit yoghurt, both sold through local farm shops.

Taste of the West provided key support by helping Mr Petheram and other farmers get their produce in front of Budgens’ tasters.

“They’ve done all the work we would probably never have done.

It’s good because Taste of the West is probably a bit more recognisable than our brand at present and makes it easier for people to buy our product.”

sam.fortescue@rbi.co.uk