REGIONAL suppliers to Asda supermarkets are achieving record sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Sales of 70 products from 28 companies and producers in the North-East have broken through the £30,000 a week barrier - ahead of last year's £25,000 record - and are rising.

Food lines doing particularly well include Acorn Dairies organic milk, from Darlington, and Jenkins and Hustwit handmade cakes, from Bishop Auckland.

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Alnwick Rum, luxury ice cream from Doddington's and Mark Toney, Fentiman's botanically brewed soft drinks, Jesmona black bullets and traditional boiled sweets; Hadrian Water and W S Robson's natural honey are also among the top sellers.

AHG Management, which organises the deliveries to Asda's 20 stores in Tyneside and Teesside, also supplies gift packs of local Christmas beers, DVDs and books featuring the region's heritage.

It is achieving annual sales of almost £1.5m and has received special praise from Asda, which claims to have pioneered the concept of local ranges across the country.