MasterChef Champion Opens 10th Local Produce Show
The 10th Local Produce Show took place last week, celebrating a decade of supporting local food producers and supply chains
Over 70 local food and drinks producers showcased their products to over 250 chefs and buyers at the 10th Local Produce Show last week. The event, organised by Business South and sponsored by Paris Smith, Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, New Forest Marque, Southern Co-op and Cavendish Ships Stores, celebrated a decade of work towards supporting local supply chains in the food industry.
MasterChef Champion 2016 Jane Devonshire opened the event. Jane, who lives in Hampshire, won the final of the prestigious competition with her traditional and nostalgic dishes using excellent local produce as their foundation. Jane’s passion for food and local produce is now stronger than ever. “I am so proud to have the opportunity to work with local producers” says Jane. “I am full of admiration for the producers that I meet. They are creative artisans working to promote not only our local economy, but our heritage and culture too, enabling our food traditions to be preserved and celebrated.”
The event, which took place on Thursday 25 January at the Hilton, at the Ageas Bowl in Hampshire, provides and invaluable opportunity for suppliers to directly showcase their products to buyers. Dorset Ginger, Hildon Water, Rosary Goats Cheese, Chalk Stream Foods, Ringwood Brewery, Hill Farm Juice, Harvest Fine Foods, Rockin’ Good Salt, Little Bee Bakery, The Coffee Bean Company, FNK Pies, Honesty Group and Conker Spirit were just some of the producers at the event.
“We have returned to the Local Produce Show for our third year. Having the opportunity to meet with potential partners face to face is so important to us” explains Rupert Holloway of Conker Spirit, Dorset’s first gin distillery. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our spirits, but our buyers are looking for more than just the product, it’s our brand and the story behind our products that can only be fully demonstrated if we personally meet people. The Local Produce Show always enables us to meet new contacts, but also to build upon our relationships with contacts that we have met at the Show previously.”
Cavendish Ships Stores has been involved and sponsored the Show since its inception. “What started as a small gathering on a P&O ship 10 years ago to promote supply to the cruise industry, has grown into an event which supports a huge array of food and beverage producers and food procurement across a wide spectrum of industries and goes from strength to strength each year” said John Davey, Director of Cavendish Ships Stores.
Carnival UK also returned to support the event, which has led to the supply of local products on board the ships, including Lyburn Farmhouse Cheese and trout from Chalk Stream Foods. “Carnival UK has 11 ships, with 30,000 passengers and staff on board at any one time and 2,500 food products in our supply chain” explains Sally Ockenden, Director of Procurement at Carnival UK. Kevin Hodges, Carnival UK, Food & Beverage Director said “The dining experience for our guests on both P&O Cruises and Cunard is one of our highest priorities and we know it is very important for everyone who cruises with us and also a reason to book. We look for consistency and quality in the ingredients that we serve on board. If a supplier has a good provenance story this helps us to engage with guests; knowing where everything originates from and its field to fork story.”
Paris Smith LLP also sponsored the Show this year and spoke to exhibitors about the importance of protecting their brands. Laura Trapnell, Partner at Paris Smith LLP said “Supporting local businesses is a priority for us and events such as the Local Produce Show provide an invaluable platform for the right people to meet with each other for the mutual benefit of their businesses. The Show aims to bring about the beginnings of new contracts and new business relationships, this can be a huge and exciting opportunity for producers and we are here to support them with the legal implications of that.”