Many of our county’s restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafes, delis and bistros source food and drink from Hampshire Farmers’ Market producers. Proud to offer their customers something fresh, local and delicious, chefs shout about the provenance of their ingredients on their menus. As a part of this flourishing relationship between producers and businesses, Hampshire Farmers’ Markets (HFM) have now introduced a new type of membership –HFM Associate Membership.
Business Manager Alex Handford explains: “For some time we have been looking at ways to recognise and raise public awareness of the many businesses who source their produce from our producers. HFM Associate Membership should fashion a more personal and stronger relationship between our local producers and many of the local businesses they supply and, in turn, with their many customers.”
As part of the new Associate Membership, Hampshire Farmers’ Markets have joined with the Love Your Pub Group to help further promote those who sign up. Love Your Pub Group formally launched in October last year to support publicans, restaurateurs and hoteliers in the county. “We’ve developed a business that focuses on supporting our members to develop online and social media platforms to a higher level,” says the group’s founder, David Bevan.
“Our alignment with Hampshire Farmers’ Markets makes complete sense. We share the same core values by supporting and showcasing quality independent artisans and their businesses. We’re privileged to become a custodian of this message within the region and look forward to working with HFM and their members,” David continues.
Among the many benefits of becoming a HFM Associate Member is the opportunity to promote their business by taking a stand twice a year at any of the many Hampshire Farmers’ Markets. They will also be invited to attend networking events throughout the year and to be listed on the Associate Membership pages on the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets website. And, like Alex and her HFM team, they can be sure to be very active users of social media.
As with the HFM producers, businesses wishing to become HFM Associate Members will need to meet particular guidelines. They will be asked to provide evidence that over a 12-month period they use/stock five or more products supplied by HFM producers.
“This new type of membership can only encourage more Hampshire businesses to work together with our producers to offer their mutual customers a greater dining experience. After all, we’re all passionate about local food,” says Alex.