Produce Show Takes a Fresh Look at Local

Produce Show Takes a Fresh Look at Local


Final preparations are underway for Business South’s popular Local Produce Trade Show 2024. The showcase event for delicious food and drink produced across the region takes place on 6 February 2024 at the Hilton Southampton - Utilita Bowl. The aim is to bring together buyers from the cruise industry, hospitality, retail and beyond to feast their eyes on the very best locally produced food and drink. 

Since it started in 2007, the event has generated many thousands of pounds of sales for local producers and allowed buyers to proudly fly the flag for the region. The event is organised by Business South, and sponsored by Cavendish Ships Stores, Carnival UK, First Stop Catering & Hygiene Supplies, Hampshire Fare, Hilton Southampton - Utilita Bowl, Southampton & Region Hoteliers Association, Alecta Technical Solutions, Enterprise South and Surrey Hills Enterprises. Its aim is to support the local and rural economies while developing local supply chains.

Leigh Sara Timberlake, Business South Group CEO, explained: “The Local Produce Trade Show is a highlight of our year and we are proud to champion the important part our local producers play in the prosperity of the region. It has been gratifying to see business being done and everything from cheese and beer to locally smoked trout appearing on the menus of cruise ships and top local restaurants as a direct result of this show.”

There will be a chef’s panel in the morning focusing on issues affecting the hospitality industry and how local producers can get their items on the menus of leading hotels and restaurants. The panel discussion will be hosted by Charlotte Thomson, First Stop Catering & Hygiene Supplies and Andrew Cole, Cavendish Ship Stores, and will feature:

In a bid to promote hospitality and catering as a chosen career path, a skills panel is being held in the afternoon. This will be facilitated by Andrew Cole, Director, Cavendish Stores Ltd, and Natasha Dochniak, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare. Students from local FE colleges attending the session will also enjoy a kitchen tour at the Hilton Southampton - Utilita Bowl.

The skills panel will include:

  • Andrew Gault Executive Head Chef, Steere Pub Co 
  • Jamie Holmes, Executive Head Chef, Hilton Southampton - Utilita Bowl 
  • Darragh Ryan, Sous Chef, 36 On The Quay and MasterChef the Professionals 2023
  • Dawn Harrison, Head Teacher, St Francis Church of England Primary School, Chandler's Ford 
  • Emma Hunt, first generation farmer, Dandys Ford Dairy, Romsey 
  • James Wills, Private Chef & Caterer, Founder of Blackboard Canteen 
  • Herbert Berger, Retired Michelin Chef 
  • Cait Salanson, Founder and MD, The Little Kitchen Company 

More than 60 local producers will be taking part in this year's Local Produce Trade Show, and many are members of Hampshire Fare. Natasha Dochniak, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, said: “The Local Produce Trade Show is an essential date in our members’ diaries, kickstarting their year with vital connections being made between producers and buyers from the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors.

“This year Hampshire Fare not only assisted with putting together the Chefs’ Panel which covers a wide variety of hospitality venues, from country pubs to luxury hotels across the region, but we also established a new Skills Panel. The aim was to inspire those coming into the industry with a range of speakers and diverse experiences. The line-up includes a first generation farmer, and runs from a young chef who appeared on the last series of MasterChef through to a retired Michelin starred chef.”

Andrew Cole, Managing Director of Cavendish Ships Stores Ltd, said: “Cavendish has long been a sponsor of the Local Produce Trade Show and each year I’m amazed by the breadth and superb quality of F&B products that are available right on our doorstep.  Being able to offer our discerning customers such desirable products, and to do so more sustainably, is a must-do strategy for Cavendish.”

Charlotte Thomson, General Manager at First Stop Catering & Hygiene Supplies, said: “First Stop are proud to be sponsoring the local Produce Trade Show for 2024. First Stop have attended every LPTS from the start and thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere, the great business connections made, all the amazing local produce on show and especially the fantastic, passionate suppliers. A wonderful event and we are really looking forward to 2024’s show."

If you are a food and drink buyer you can attend the Local Produce Trade Show by booking your place HERE.