North Wessex Downs AONB, Units 3-4, Denford Manor, Lower Denford, Hungerford, RG17 0UN
01488 685 440  info@northwessexdowns.org.uk

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News Archive

Mar 8, 2013

Local answer to meat fears

summit in Hungerford to launch a Best Buy Local campaign

Over recent weeks the nation has been coming to terms with the reality that much of our food has a longer journey than many perhaps thought before reaching our plates.

To encourage ‘Buy Fresh, Buy Local’ outlets, North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is inviting accommodation, catering and retail suppliers to a summit in Hungerford to launch a Best Buy Local campaign. The meeting is being held at the Hungerford Bear Hotel on Tuesday 12 March at 10.30am.

Buying meat directly from a local butcher, farm shop or farmers’ market reduces the length of the supply chain, which benefits not only the consumer but the local economy and the environment. It is estimated that farmers in the North Wessex Downs could supply 90% of the current demand for meat.

Andy Ayris, who owns Andrews Master Butchers in Marlborough, said: “We can identify what we’re selling.  It’s all from local farms.  I can even tell you the slaughterman’s name.”

The North Wessex Downs AONB is urging local traders and service providers to follow developments in Hampshire, which is already leading the way through an organisation called Hampshire Fayre, supported by Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Chambers of Commerce, the National Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, local radio stations, the Hampshire Chronicle newspaper group and others including the NFU and Fuller’s Brewery.

Hampshire Fayre will be one of the leading speakers at the Hungerford food summit. They have over 200 supplier-members, 11,674 consumer subscribers and they attracted over 295,000 visitors to a Hampshire Food Festival last year, generating over £5.97million for the Hampshire local economy.

Ken Westall, Communications Officer at North Wessex Downs AONB, said: “This is absolutely the right time for retailers, tourism and catering suppliers throughout our area to concentrate on buying local produce. We urge them to attend this event.

“We already maintain a local products directory and this will be developed further. Many suppliers now offer online shopping and home delivery. Ready meal options made on the premises using locally sourced unprocessed meat are also available.

“All of this, of course, applies to individual consumers as well. Many of our local butchers enjoy talking to customers about the local origins of the produce they are buying. We will encourage certificates of provenance to be displayed behind the counter to give customers further reassurance about where the meat has come from.”

For more information, please contact:

Ken Westall, Communications Officer
North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Tel: 01488 680450
Mob: 07785 931549
Email:  kennethwestall@northwessexdowns.org.uk

 

Henry Oliver, Director
01488 680454 (w)
07786 173296 (m)