The community interest, not-for-profit organisation, the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, has just launched its own annual award and will be inviting its most influential audience, the public, to vote for The Best Food Product, The Best Drinks Producer, The Best Hot Food to Take Away and The Best Personality from the wide range of suppliers who sell locally sourced produce at the HFM’s regular venues across the county. There will be a new award added this year for The Best Food Initiative, as decided by the HFM Board of Directors.
“The awards will give our market visitors the chance to vote for their favourite products and producers,” commented Alex Handford, HFM Business Manager. “So many of our visitors comment on how much they enjoy their market shopping experience because they get to talk directly to the local producers, have the assurance of knowing where the food comes from and that each producer has to meet a very strict criteria to sell their produce at our markets.”
Voting forms will be available at all the markets on the producer’s stalls, at the HFM information desk and voting on-line on the HFM website. The voting will close on the 7th September and market visitors voting forms will be entered into a prize draw for a HFM Hamper full of local produce, plus two tickets to the HFM Awards Dinner at the Brookfield Hotel at Emsworth on Tuesday 22nd September, as part of the British Food Fortnight celebrations, where the winning HFM Producers will receive their awards.
“Our producers really appreciate the support they receive from our market visitors. Buying local not only helps the local rural economy, but also helps to secure local rural jobs too. We are all looking forward to celebrating with the award winners during British Food Fortnight,” concluded Alex Handford.
The HFM runs a fortnightly market at Winchester, which is one of the largest farmers’ markets in the country, with regular monthly markets at Alton, Emsworth, Petersfield, Romsey, Ringwood, Southsea and seasonal food festivals at Southampton and new venue Hamble at the Hamble Food Festival on Saturday 5th September.