In Hampshire there is plenty of choice when it comes to buying locally

In Hampshire there is plenty of choice when it comes to buying locally

In Hampshire there's plenty of choice when it comes to buying locally

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.

Whilst people across the country reassess their buying habits, consumers In Hampshire can feel smug about the vast number of meat producers, shops, pubs and restaurants on their doorstep dedicated to offering high quality local meat.

Shopping locally gives consumers the chance to gain an understanding of the provenance of the food they are purchasing. Buying meat directly from a local butcher, farm shop or farmers' market also reduces the length of the supply chain which benefits not only the consumer but the local economy and the environment.

Owtons is a traditional family-run butchers which has been serving the local community in Southampton for more than 35 years. Scott Dawson, manager of Owtons at the Kimbridge Estate commented on the service their customers can expect:

'The meat we sell comes either from our own farm or from other local farmers - 90% of our meat is from Hampshire with the remainder coming from no further than Dorset. Our knowledgeable butchers enjoy talking to customers about the meat they are buying. Our certificates of provenance displayed behind the counter give customers further reassurance about where the food has come from.'

Shopping locally has never been more convenient with many suppliers now offering online shopping and home delivery. Ready meal options made on the premises using locally sourced unprocessed meat are also available.

At Hampshire Fare, we work with producers, retailers and hospitality venues across the county to promote the benefits of buying locally. As a county we should feel proud of our knowledgeable producers, retailers and chefs dedicated to producing and serving only the best quality seasonal produce to consumers.

This weekend why not use our guide to buying meat locally (see below) and visit your nearest farm shop, butcher or farmers' market to purchase your meat.

The Hampshire Fare guide to buying meat locally

Farm shops

Hampshire has more than forty farm shops full of fresh local produce. Buying from your local farm shop is easier than ever with many offering online ordering and home delivery.

The family-run Parsonage Farm near Andover sells quality meat from animals raised on-site using natural, environmentally balanced and sensitive farming practices. In addition to the farm shop bespoke meat boxes can be delivered to your door. Customers can choose from a mid-week meal themed box, a children's meal box, a taster box or you can design your own depending on your needs and tastes. Prices start from just £29.90 and delivery is free within a ten mile radius. Find out more on their website or call the very friendly owners, John and Sarah, 01264 736208.

More local farm shops:

Brocks Farm Shop, Alton, GU34 1BX.

Country Market, Bordon, GU35 0QP

Durleighmarsh Farm Shop, Petersfield, GU31 5AX

Good Life Farm Shop, Winchester, SO23 7LD

Hyden Farm Originals, Waterlooville, PO8 0SD

Laverstoke Park, Overton, RG25 3DR

Manydown Farm Shop, Basingstoke, RG23 8PU

Mill Farm Organic Shop, Alton, GU34 4PN

Newlyns Farm Shop, North Warnborough RG29 1HA and Weyhill SP11 0PP

Owtons at Chalcroft Farm, Southampton, SO30 2HU

Owtons at Kimbridge Estate, Kimbridge, SO50 0LE

Setley Farm Shop, Brockenhurst, SO42 7UF

Wellington Farm Shop, Hook, RG27 OLA

Butchers and local online meat retailers

Hampshire boasts talented butchers selling a wide range of products from fresh meat to sausage rolls, faggots, charcuterie and pies. Each year local butchers go head to head in the Hampshire Great Sausage, Pie and Ready Meal competition which will this year be held at the beginning of April.

C E Evans & Son, Alresford, SO24 9AT

A Turner and Sons, Aldershot, GU12 4SY

Uptons of Bassett, Southampton, SO16 7DJ

Rother Valley Organics, Rogate, GU31 5HU

Greenfield Pork Products, Andover, online and farmers'markets

Oakwood Butchers, Brockenhurst, SO42 7UF

Ambrose Sausages, Bishopstoke, online only

Blackmoor Game, Alresford, SO24 9RU

Hampshire Lamb, Alton, GU34 1SW, online only

Solent Butchers, Portsmouth, PO3 5SD, online only

Farmers' market

We are lucky to have successful and well-supported farmers' markets taking place all year across the county. Run by Hampshire Farmers' Markets, the markets give consumers the opportunity to buy directly from the producers at the best price and talk to them about the food.

As well as being able to buy meat to take away and cook at home you will find many producers cooking food to eat at the market such as the popular buffalo burgers from Broughton. Markets are held every weekend. The next market will be at Elvetham Heath on Saturday 23 February and in Winchester on Sunday 24 February.

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