MP celebrates South Downs producers at Parliament showcase
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert welcomed local food and drink producers to the Houses of Parliament for a ‘Taste of West Sussex’ event last week (Thursday 29 November).
Mr Herbert joined The Artisan Bakehouse (Ashurst), Wiston Estate wines, Rushfields farm shop (Poynings), Hepworths brewery (Pulborough), and Trenchmore (Cowfold), all of which are based in the Arundel & South Downs constituency.
Sixteen producers were chosen from across West Sussex to represent the wide range of products made in the county, including dairy, meat, baked goods, coffee and wine. The businesses had the opportunity to speak to MPs and Minsters about their products and offer tastings.
Special guest Kenny Tutt, who was MasterChef Champion 2018, praised the variety and quality of West Sussex food and drinks. He said: “West Sussex is a fantastic foodie destination with so many amazing artisan food and produce experiences for people to enjoy. We are blessed with fine cheese, ales, roasted coffee, ciders, spirits, chocolates, baked goods, honey and wine, and of course the famous Sussex sparkling wines of the region. We also have great farmers producing stunning Sussex beef, Southdown lamb, pork, vegetables and salad, as well as the beautiful Sussex coast providing fresh, seasonal fish. We really do have it all in West Sussex.”
The showcase is part of a wider West Sussex County Council initiative to promote rural enterprise and innovation by bringing together buyers and producers. There is a trend amongst shoppers for buying locally produced food and drink, and a growing popularity with farmers’ markets, farm shops and small retailers who stock local goods. Many West Sussex producers are also earning national and international recognition with a number of awards given to locally made products.
Nick Herbert said: “I was delighted to welcome local producers to the House of Commons. I think the Taste of West Sussex was a fabulous showcase of the fine food and wine made in and around the South Downs.
“I hope that the event helped to promote not just the individual businesses that came up to Westminster, but also the growing range of high quality local food and drink which is produced in our County.”
1. Photograph: Montage (L-R clockwise), Nick with Les and Louise Nicholson of The Artisan Bakehouse, Andy Hepworth of Hepworth & Co Brewers, Rachel and Joanne Knowles of Trenchmore/Silly Moo cider, Kirsty Goring of Wiston Estate wines and Louise Goldsmith, Colin and Pam Langridge of Rushfields farm shop.
2. To read more West Sussex food, see www.experiencewestsussex.com.