Food & Drink

People, produce and passion on display at Local Produce Trade Show 2024

Local Produce Trade Show Line Up Credit Cath Lowe Phototgraphy

Local Produce Trade Show Line Up. All images credit: Cath Lowe Photography

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: February 9, 2024 | Updated: 9th February 2024

More than 60 artisan food and drink businesses showcased their products at this year’s Local Trade Produce Show.

Held at Hilton Southampton – Utilita Bowl, the exhibition was organised by Business South with support from Hampshire Fare.

Skills Panel including primary school pupil Robin Ashleigh

The food and drinks businesses in attendance had the opportunity to show their produce to buyers from hospitality, leisure and retail, offering all in the sectors a friendly environment in which to make valuable business connections.

Having been involved in the show since its inception 16 years ago, Hampshire Fare helps to organise the Chefs’ Panel, featuring some of the area’s top chefs who provide an insight into working with local produce, sustainable practices and emerging dining trends.

Skills Panel including retired Michelin starred chef Herbert Berger.

This year, the county food, drink and craft group also took responsibility for a new feature: the Skills’ Panel, which shone a spotlight on a range of food-related experiences through the ages.

The panel included Dawn Harrison, Head Teacher, St Francis CE Primary School, along with pupil Robin Ashleigh, who aspires to be a chef, a first-generation farmer, Emma Hunt of Dandys Ford Dairy, and Herbert Berger, a retired Michelin chef who had cooked for high profile guests, among them HM Queen Elizabeth II, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger!

Hampshire Fare team

Natasha Dochniak, commercial manager, Hampshire Fare, commented: “It was my first Local Produce Trade Show and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to see so many Hampshire Fare members showcasing their products and I really enjoyed hosting the Skills’ Panel.

“My three Ps of Hampshire Fare – people, produce and passion – shone through as a recurring theme among panellists. We are extremely lucky to have so much incredible local produce here on our doorstep and today was a shining example of that.

“I am looking forward to working in partnership with Business South to ensure this event goes from strength to strength.”

Blackmoor Orchards

Many of the producers, such as Blackmoor Estate and Homemade Brownie Company used the Trade Show to launch new product ranges and services.

New Forest Shortbread

Tracy Thew of New Forest Shortbread said: “The Local Produce Trade Show is an excellent opportunity to meet buyers face to face and learn from them what they need. As a small producer, it is so important to get that interaction and  hear what customers want.”

It was the first time Alexis Rendell of Portsmouth-based Tea Mountain had attended the Show. He commented that the Local Produce Trade Show had given him the opportunity to put forward his product to key people in hospitality, among them Andrew Cole, managing director, Cavendish Ships Stores.

Tea Mountain

Peter Morgan of The Book & Bucket Cheese Company was also exhibiting for the first time. He explained: “We are well known in the New Forest, but we want to be better known in the rest of Hampshire. Joining Hampshire Fare and attending the Local Produce Trade Show has been great for us and we have had a few very positive enquiries from the Show.”

Leigh Sara Timberlake, Business South Group CEO, said: “We really do love the Local Produce Trade Show – it is such a positive event for our region and we get to showcase truly delicious food and drink.

“It is so gratifying to hear from the producers how this event has led to significant orders being placed and long-lasting business relationships being formed.”

James and Niall, Co-Founders of NovaturaTo get the best of Hampshire Biz News straight to your inbox every week, sign up for our newsletter!

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