MARMALADE made in Ludlow is amongst the best in the world according to local makers and they are out to prove the point.

A south Shropshire food producer is set to take on the world.

The World Marmalade Festival takes place at the Dalemain Mansion, Penrith, Cumbria and sees entries from all over the world.

More than 2,000 marmalade makers sent in their jars to be judged, a 20 per cent increase on last year, proving that recent concerns over the demise of marmalade are completely unfounded.

The marmalade team at Ludlow Food Centre exceeded expectation by winning two gold awards and two silver awards.

Food Centre producers Darren Marsh and Tess Slater have won more marmalade awards than any other artisan producer proving they make some of the best commercially available marmalade in the world.

They make seven varieties of marmalade and all have won at least one World Marmalade Award. This year they won gold awards for their Hand Cut Seville Orange Marmalade and their slightly more unusual Lemon & Lime variety. In addition they picked up two sliver awards for their Lady Windsor and Three Fruit varieties.

"We never expected to become known for making marmalade but over the years we have built up quite a reputation,” said Darren.

“It is always nice to get recognition for the work we do and we are really proud to have won awards against such tough competition.’

Darren and Tess met whilst working at Tesco in Ludlow and applied for jobs working on the Food Centre’s delicatessen. Their interest in food production was rewarded with a place in the Centre’s jam and pickle kitchen where they were trained to make over 30 varieties of preserves. Where possible they use local ingredients from Shropshire.

For their efforts the duo have had their marmalade accepted in to London specialist food store, Fortnum and Mason. Fortnum’s have stocked a wide variety of Food Centre marmalade since they won their first award five years ago.