Hampshire Fare invites locals to celebrate 20 years

County food group Hampshire Fare is inviting local food lovers, businesses and organisations to join its 20th anniversary celebrations.

The evening event in Winchester on 24 February is being billed as “an ideal opportunity to meet and network with Hampshire fare producers and businesses, fellow local food-lovers and supporters of Hampshire fare”.

The group was established by farmers and producers who wanted to promote the benefits of buying local produce.

Today, the community interest company has about 200 members, representing businesses from free-range pig farmers to five-star hotels that serve local food. It is also backed by Hampshire County Council and private sector sponsorship. Tickets for the Guildhall event cost £10 per person.

Find out more here.


Fussels Fine Foods owner to give tips at farm shop exhibition

A new exhibition, designed to meet the business and retail needs of farm shops, delis and artisan food halls, will run at the Birmingham NEC from 27 February to 1 March.

Exhibitors at Farm Shop & Deli Show 2011 will be showcasing everything from chocolate and confectionery to speciality soft drinks.

Farmers Weekly 2010 Awards finalist Andy Fussell of Fussels Fine Foods will be among the speakers. He’ll be detailing the dos and don’ts of launching a product, while reliving his experience of pitching to the “dragons” in the Dragons’ Den TV programme.

Gregg Wallace, who presents TV show MasterChef, will also be speaking.Entry is free and visitors can register online.


Local heroes honoured at Sussex food and drinks awards

Eight food and drink producers were hailed as local heroes at this year’s Sussex Food & Drink Awards ceremony.

Thousands of people voted for hundreds of the county’s food and drink businesses and individuals in the awards, which this year celebrated their fifth anniversary.

The winners were:

Best Farmer’s Market – Uckfield

Farmer of the Year – Jenny & Trevor Passmore, Church Farm, Lancing

Best Food/Farm Shop – Cheese Please, Lewes

Food Producer of the Year – Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham

Drink Producer of the Year – Dark Star Brewery, Horsham

Best Eating Experience – The Curlew, Bodiam

Young Chef of the Year – Steven Edwards, South Lodge, Horsham

Butcher of the Year – Tablehurst Farm Shop, Forest Row