Case Study: Emsworth Food Fortnight 2014
Emsworth is a town that still has a traditional high street offering two family owned butchers, a fishmongers, a greengrocers and a monthly market day. The 20th September – 5th October 2014 saw the pretty coastal town organise their very own Food Fortnight celebrating its food heritage with a range of diverse food related events.
The organisers were keen to ensure that the Emsworth British Food Fortnight encompassed as many sectors of the community as possible and events included two open air local producer markets and various food and wine tastings. Education and support for those less fortunate were very much part of the celebration.
Watch a video by the organisers of Emsworth Food FortnightCatering departments of three local FE colleges were offered the opportunity to prepare and serve a three course meal at the Brookfield Hotel. They rose to the challenge, producing a Great British Menu - all three lunches sold out and gained rave reviews. It was a huge show of faith from the Brookfield Hotel and it proves how important young people are to the future of the catering and food industry.
Two local producer markets saw visitors flock to the town on two consecutive Saturdays. Hampshire Farmers' Market showcased some of the county’s produce whilst the 'A Thought for Food' Market concentrated on more local producers, who seldom get the opportunity to promote their wares on this scale and with this number of visitors.
Especially themed lunches and dinners, as well as beer, wine and even local gin tastings occurred on almost every day of the Fortnight and were enjoyed
by hundreds. The premiere of the lottery funded Emsworth Oyster Film, produced by Millstream Productions, also underlined to many people where Emsworth
had come from and its unique sense of place.
The Fortnight concluded with an open air inter-denominational Harvest Festival in Emsworth Square. Having positioned three food collection points around the town over the two weeks, Emsworth was able to build a food mountain, which was donated to the Beacon Food Bank.
The Emsworth British Food Fortnight was a wonderful example of a community not just celebrating and enjoying itself through its food heritage and local producers, but also giving something back. The initiative won the Love British Food / Telegraph search for Harvest Heroes competition in 2014 and the organising committee was presented with a hand crafted award by Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at her office in Westminster.
"Winning this competition 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 local population that we need to support both our local 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 Gibson, Organiser of Emsworth Food Fortnight.
"A huge THANK YOU to all of you for putting together a Fortnight of excellent and varied events which captured the imagination of the community and brought us all together. These kind of initiatives do so much to nurture the spirit of a town and everyone I have spoken to has greatly appreciated the events that were arranged." Rev.
Simon Sayers - Parish of Emsworth & Warblington
"On behalf of all the team at Beacon Food Bank, I would like to say a big thank you to the generous people of Emsworth who donated so much food to us over the Emsworth Food Fortnight. It really exceeded our expectations, filling 2 small vans and 4 cars! Be assured it will be put to good use, so also on behalf of those who will benefit from it, our heartfelt thanks." Ruth Scott, Beacon Food Bank