AN APP is to be launched to help artisan food producers find those who may wish to sell their goods.

Richard Eddington, working from his home office in Braithwaite, had the idea for the app a couple of years ago when visiting a trade show in Birmingham.

He said: "A couple of years ago I went to a trade show at the NEC in Birmingham for farm shops. Making the journey from Cumbria and staying the night in a hotel was costly.

"At the show, I pondered the probable costs incurred by the large number of would-be shop and hospitality suppliers with expensive display stands.

"I then thought about all of the Cumbrian food and drink suppliers that I knew of who were not there and speculated on the large numbers from the county that I had never even heard of."

He reasoned that this would be because it was too costly, too time consuming or that they were simply unable to get a pitch in the exhibition.

Mr Eddington decided that there must be a better way to do things and so decided to make one.

Businesses can display, demonstrate and trade all within the app.

He also felt that the larger companies would be turning their attention increasingly to domestic markets, thus putting the squeeze on smaller suppliers.

Given that chefs and retail food shops are always looking for something new to give them an edge, he felt it would be great if there was a really easy way to discover new artisan and speciality producers that could also cut down on food miles.

Some of the more technical details were outsourced to other businesses.

An augmented reality function is currently in development so that users can position products from suppliers in their own business settings.

He says that businesses will be able to envision: “What would that fancy fudge display look like in my shop?”

A video conference function is also in development so that up to 50 users at once can meet for events such as a cooking display