Review of the Food Festival

by steve on August 28, 2012

Introduction

Transition Evesham Vale (TEV) with support from Transition Pershore organized the second fresh food festival in the Vale of Evesham in All Saints churchyard on Sunday 17 June 2012. This report sets out some of the successful outcomes of the event and offers some suggestions for future developments to enhance and build on the outcomes

Outcomes

The main objective of the Vale First Fresh Food Festival was to celebrate and raise awareness of the diversity of the area’s local produce. Our aim was to promote local horticultural produce, such as salad crops, vegetables and fruit, along with a growing range of locally sourced and locally produced value-added products such as cheeses, ice cream, cakes, jams & preserves, and meat products such as pies and sausages.

More than 20 stall holders exhibited on the day ( See site plan attached for details). These ranged from locally sourced fresh vegetables, activities promoting cooking and growing local food, including the Garden Club from Evesham High School, home composting and hot food from local restaurants, including an established ethnic one offering Bangladeshi food and another a BBQ. A pig roast and sausages provided by the local Outdoor Pig Company was a major success with the public, with queues throughout the day. This along with The Fleece Inn bar and music provided by the Bretforton Silver Band and Prince Henry’s High School jazz band made it a memorable and enjoyable occasion for the many hundreds of visitors to Evesham, many of whom came for the National Morris Festival weekend. This year the Morris dancers were able to dance in the area around the All Saints Church yard which helped to draw more people in to the festival arena. This was a significant additional attraction for visitors to both events. Inspite of the intermittent showers, some glimpses of summer weather was a real bonus. A bouncy castle,

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a juggler and face painting, contributed to the enjoyment of the day, not only for children but for their parents. Alan Coxon, celebrity TV Chef opened the festival in great style with an address that emphasised the current and historical significance of local food in the Vale.

Informal soundings made by members of TEV indicated that both visitors and exhibitors found the event informative on local food suppliers, growing your own,

home composting and on local restaurants that source local products. Indeed many visitors were unaware of some of the local sources and products on their doorstep – a gap that TEV is addressing by producing and delivering A Local Food Directory, now in its fourth edition. In addition the launch of the eat local campaign called 30:30 has successfully identified 13 local cafes ,restaurants and dining pubs which serve locally sourced fresh food( from within a 30 mile radius of Evesham) The participating farm shops sold out much of their produce and had to replenish their stocks during the day.

A review meeting on 24 July confirmed that all of the exhibitors found the event very successful in promoting their sales and were committed to holding the event again next year in Evesham, in parallel with the National Morris Weekend. The Festival was featured in The Evesham Journal; the Observer and the Vale Magazine in June and photographs are currently featured on the TEV website. www.transitioneveshamvale.org.uk

Suggested new developments to

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improve the festival in 2013

We continue to distribute the Local Food Directory through shops, restaurants, information centres and libraries.

We thank Evesham and Pershore Market Town Partnerships, Wychavon District Council and Midcounties Co-op for their support for this project.

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