Town praised for huge food fortnight effort

TASTY Mushroom farmer Paul Metcalf at this year's Food Fortnight
TASTY Mushroom farmer Paul Metcalf at this year's Food Fortnight
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THE volunteers behind the Emsworth Food Fortnight have scooped a top award.

Emsworth Business Association ran two weeks of food-focused events as part of British Food Fortnight – a national showcase for the best of food and drink.

This year was the first time it had entered the awards run by Love British Food.

And the event has now been named winner of the community category.

Alistair Gibson, who helped organise it, said: ‘Winning is a wonderful recognition for a fortnight that grew into a true community event, encompassing so many people from young to old.

‘As a result it will highlight Emsworth as a real food destination as well as reminding the population that we need to support both our business and community.

‘It has already seen the establishment of a permanent, once-monthly food bank collection point to coincide with Emsworth’s monthly market day.’

Alistair and the rest of the team yesterday attended a presentation with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss in London to receive their award.

As part of the prize, they get a meal for 10 at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant – one of Britain’s best.

Alexia Robinson, founder of the Love British Food campaign, said: ‘Emsworth British Food Fortnight is a brilliant example of how it is possible to bring together different strands of a community, and to unite them under a common theme.

‘Every single member of the judging panel agreed that it is a very worthy winner of this award.

‘We particularly liked the involvement of the local colleges in preparing food at the Brookfield Hotel, the ongoing collection of food for the Beacon Foodbank and use of digital media.

‘The fact that the Emsworth has achieved so much from a standing start this year is particularly impressive.’