NDI Innovation
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Stone Masons and Food Producers from Normandy visit Kent

As part of the NDI project, businesses from Normandy were hosted in Kent over 2 days last month to meet UK companies and business support organisations from the area.

First, Kent2020, where the food producers were able to meet small businesses from Kent interested in importing their products and Health and Safety specialists in the Food Industry, then to the Charity Auction Dinner at the Kent showground that evening, where the group kindly donated a hamper of food and drink from their region.

Then to Canterbury Cathedral the next day for a visit to the stone masonry.  The Head of Stonemasons Heather Newton, gave the group a very warm welcome and took them to the drawing room and the workshop.  They were then taken onto the scaffolding to the restoration work that is being done on the Cathedral stone.  The stone is imported from Caen, so the stone masons were interested to see how it is used and worked on at the Cathedral. 

M.Goujon remarked "This visit allowed us to see how they work, their methods, the issues they face. And also, we could see this famous Caen stone, which everyone is talking about." Mr Conraud added "It reminds us a bit of our construction sites, except that this is a very big and beautiful one. And they are also using Caen stone so we feel a bit at home." 

Next was a visit to The Fudge Kitchen where the group were treated to a full demonstration of the fudge making process and taught about the ingredients and methods used to make this particular recipe. Mr. Ribot  said: "I am totally in my element, this is great. I found the way of presenting the product and cooking it in front of the customer very interesting. Instead of cooking with water, they are cooking with champagne, so we will make ours with cider. We will try to make a caramel with salted butter and cider from Normandy. This could be great"

After a networking lunch with a couple of the Cathedral stone masons and some local food producers, the group visited Stonewright just outside Ashford.  "It was a small marble workshop equivalent to French marble workshops" said Mr. Pepin “with similar machines and products. Some colours and finishing touches might be different from ours, but we saw natural and high quality products."

The businesses are hoping for some concrete results to come out of the visit and are looking forward to welcoming their UK counterparts in Normandy later this year.


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