FOOD and the cost of food is an issue in everyone's thoughts as we approach Christmas.
Food has by and large been relatively cheap and plentiful in this country.
But in austerity Britain, we are experiencing a nutritional recession.
According to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper, rising food prices and shrinking incomes are increasing the consumption of foods that are not good for us.
Eating more and more unhealthy food, particularly that containing increased fat and sugar has risen in poorer households.
Some of these hard-pressed households are now in food poverty.
And as a result, they are eating more high fat and processed foods like meat balls and tinned pies because they perceive them to be cheaper and more filling.
By eating more local food, especially vegetables grown in the South West, we will not only be balancing our diet better but supporting this region's farmers and saving more on our food bills.
MORE and more of Gloucestershire's companies are now realising that there is a whole new world of business out there in the export market.
This was evident last week when The Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo held a special export round table event in our boardroom as part of Export Month.
We heard some great success stories, and the conclusion was aptly summed up by Andy Willett, HSBC's commercial director, who said: "There is a good, good market outside Gloucestershire and the UK that companies can sell their products to."
We are lucky in having expertise right here on our doorstep in Bristol which houses the headquarters of UKTI, the Government agency helping companies start exporting.
We have some great exporters in Gloucestershire. It is their experiences which can pave the way to worldwide success for other companies.