Buy Local Awards - winners announced!
We are delighted to be able to announce the results of our 2008 'Buy Local' awards. We received over 50 nominations this year, and it was really difficult to choose our five winners - so many of the entrants were providing fantastic local food! All the winners were chosen because of some extra facet to the local food service that they provided. Many thanks to Charlotte Burton for the time she has spent on this, and of course our judges, Knud Moller, Maria Luczak and Elizabeth Gentil, for sifting through the many nomination forms and visiting the businesses to offer their opinions.
The winners were:
The Walton Lea Project opened in 1998 to train and employ adults with learning difficulties in horticulture. Walton Lea site is a traditional one acre Victorian walled garden owned by Warrington Borough Council which was unused and overgrown before the project took over. Over 50 adults with learning difficulties are now working at the project, either full or part-time.
Apart from the benefits to the community offered by the project, the high number of local people employed by the charity and the good environmental practices at Walton Lea, the group also has a fruit and vegetable delivery van which visits sheltered housing units and day care centres in the Warrington area, supplying sectors of the community who would otherwise struggle to access seasonal, local food.
A number of our CPRE members from Nantwich have told me how much they value the number of independent local shops in Nantwich town centre, and our next winner is one of them - H. Clewlows Butchers from Nantwich.
One of our judges described Clewlows as ‘how butchers used to be’ – it’s a butchers’ shop where they know about the origins of all the meat, which is produced very locally - within 10 miles or so – and slaughtered in Haslington, about 7 miles away, to minimise stress on the animals as well as massively cutting down on food miles.
The cooked meats and baked goods on sale are all produced on the premises, and the employees all hail from the locality. And Clewlows have run the business in this way since they were founded 79 years ago, just a couple of years after the founding of CPRE Cheshire Branch!
Paul and Wendy Jackson from Teuthill Farm grow potatoes and process them to supply ready made chips to local pubs and restaurants. We were all really impressed with the thought that has gone into their product. Every aspect of the production – the way the potatoes are grown, the way they are supplied to caterers in packaging which is collected and reused by the business, to the delivery fleet, which is powered by the used cooking oil – this has all been carefully thought out so as to minimise the environmental impact of the product.
And Charlotte visited the business and vouches for the tastiness of the chips!!
With a policy of sourcing 50% of their products within 50 miles, the shops carry a wide range of local products which are traceable and locally distinct. Their town centre locations makes the local foods that they supply accessible by foot, and the company’s eco practices are well thought out. The range of products is very good and information about the suppliers is on clear display in the shop, in order to help shoppers make an informed choice.
Riverside Organics from Whatcroft near Northwich is a family farm with organic certification from the Soil Association. The farm shop opened in 2005 and they have a policy of selling as much food produced on the farm as possible in the shop.
There is a good range of delivery boxes with free delivery in the local area, and the farm shop also sells a range of ethical/environmentally friendly goods in addition to food (for example, you can get your ecover bottles refilled at the farm).
The other factor that impressed us was the range of outreach activities at the farm – from the farm tots group, educating pre-school children about the farm by providing activities that link in with what’s going on – from planting beans, caring for chicks, to weaving straw dollies. There is also the facility for free school visits to the farm by arrangement, a nature walk, links with local schools – and diversifying with events at the farm, such as a music festival in July!
Our runners up were:
- The Family Jam Production Company
- Wirral Watercress
- Chestnut Meats
- Holly Tree Farm Shop
- Cheerbrook Quality Farm Food
- Abbey Leys Organic Farm
- Cloverbank Organic Farm
- Ken Webb’s Beef
- Great North Pie Company
Many thanks to all those who took the trouble to nominate their favourite local supplier!
Check out our local food map if you would like to find a local food supplier nearby - and please let us know if we have missed anyone! We want to produce an inclusive map of suppliers/producers of local food in Cheshire and we need your help!
We are also planning to produce small-scale local food maps based around small towns in Cheshire. If you would like to be involved or kept up to date with this, please get in touch with us.