Tunisian Project for Jane

Guild member Jane Milton has told us what she has been working on recently ‘As part of a British Embassy funded project, I am working with a group of food businesses in Tunisia, helping them better understand the UK market for food and then export as profitably as they can. I’ve chosen a great mix of producers including pate de fruits made with eight different seasonal fruits, spray bottles of organic and conventional olive oil – Tunisia is the World’s second biggest producer after Spain – and organic aloe vera juice, made the day the leaves are harvested. I‘ve selected a spicy vegan carrot tapenade, a fresh-tasting chakchuka (Tunisian spelling) produced between February and April only, when the tomatoes are delicious, and a dish called mechouia, made of chargrilled peppers of different heat levels, dangerously moreish. Briks pastry featured on October’s Great British Bake Off, just as we had found a wonderful ambient version. At least now people will know what it is.

‘Fellow Guild member Sarah Jane Evans has helped whittle a large selection of wines down to just three which could perform well with new labels and differently shaped bottles. We’ve had to register new brand names, create brands, change packaging materials and start from scratch with labels. Next month the businesses will meet buyers. It’s great to see our food supply chain through their eyes. One day as I was asking if they could possibly extend shelf life on a product, and the client asked, “don’t you want to eat fresh food?” They import very little, eat seasonally, a very varied diet and rarely know anyone with food allergies. I can’t help thinking we should be mirroring their systems more.’

Jane Milton: jane@janemilton.com

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