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Five minutes on the pitch

Posted: 21st September 2016

More than 40 Hampshire food and drink producers had the opportunity to ‘court’ several key local retail and hospitality buyers at a ‘Date a Producer’ event organised by local food group, Hampshire Fare.

The event was held in a box overlooking the pitch at Southampton Football Club and involved buyers from the club itself along with Southampton Airport and The Southern Co-operative. All three organisations have plans to incorporate food and drink from local producers into their offering or increase what they already offer.

Each producer had five minutes to present themselves and their product to the room of buyers. The timer then went off and it was all change with the next producer taking to the hot seat. The buyers were treated to tastings of pies, sausages, chocolates, gin, wine, watercress, coffee, cider, beer, bacon, biltong, chutneys, cheese and more.

Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, Tracy Nash explains more: “Hampshire Fare was the matchmaker on Friday introducing local producers to key buyers. In speed-dating style each supplier had five minutes to impress the buyers with their products. I am incredibly proud of our producers, they put a great deal of thought and effort into their pitches. We have a lot of top local food and drink being grown, reared and made in Hampshire and it is wonderful to see local businesses supporting this. Our first ‘Date a Producer’ event has been hugely successful and very well-received by all.”

Geoff Green, director of hospitality, catering and events at Southampton FC was on the buying panel: “Southampton Football Club is at the heart of the community and as such wants to support local business where ever possible.  Our executive chef is passionate about Hampshire produce and is looking to source seasonal produce throughout the season. We are also keen to ensure that no matter the size of the supplier, quality offerings will be used whether it’s for one menu or a whole season.”