New Forest Marque members celebrate Hampshire Life Food and Drink Awards nominations

Published Wednesday 27 June 2012

Members of the New Forest Marque are celebrating after beating off stiff competition to be nominated in five of the 14 categories at this year’s Hampshire Life Food and Drink Awards.

The awards – regarded as the Oscars of the local food and drink industry - celebrate the finest produce that Hampshire has to offer and give valuable recognition to producers, growers, suppliers and hospitality venues.

Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council, the Marque gives businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce. It encourages people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances, while helping to sustain the New Forest’s local economy.

New Forest Marque nominees:

Chef of the year - Matt Tomkinson, Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu

Customer Care Award - Rosie Lea tea rooms, Brockenhurst

Food producer of the year - Naked Jam, Barton on Sea

New Forest Marque producer-of the year -

  • Loosehanger cheese, Salisbury
  • Simeon Morgan Farming, Lymington
  • Tatchbury Manor Farm, Winsor

Tea shop of the year –

  • Rosie Lea tea rooms, Brockenhurst
  • Something’s brewing at the Watersplash, Brockenhurst

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘It is a privilege to see so many New Forest Marque members nominated. These awards are chosen by the people who live and shop in Hampshire. It reflects the high quality of produce and service here in the New Forest.

‘The Marque is unique and it is the only scheme like it in the country. It is a contracted scheme that audits its farmers and producers to ensure a minimum content comes from the New Forest. Producers also have to adhere to a series of stringent standards before the product receives its ‘marque’ of approval.’

Matthew Tomkinson, Head Chef at the Montagu Arms Hotel, said: ‘I am honoured to have been nominated for Hampshire Life’s Chef of the Year 2012. To be among such esteemed company as my fellow nominees is a great feeling. Both myself and my colleagues at the Montagu Arms Hotel are delighted.’

Lisa Morgan, from Simeon Morgan Farming, added: ‘It is great that our customers have taken the time to nominate us for this award. We get a tremendous sense of pride selling our meat and love to hear how much it has been enjoyed! We are passionate about supplying a high quality product; promoting animal welfare and educating people about food production and farming in the Forest.’

The New Forest Marque producers will hear whether they have won at the awards ceremony on Thursday 23 August at the Four Seasons Hotel at Dogmersfield, Hampshire.

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Notes to Editors: The Marque® – a sign of quality.

New Forest Produce logo

A product is only licensed to use the Marque® if:

  • it contains at least 25 per cent New Forest produce
  • it has met stringent standards according to its particular speciality (for example, meat producers must show that high standards of welfare and good husbandry have been applied at all times).

Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council and the award scheme was created to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce
  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.

For more information on the New Forest Marque and who is part of the Marque visit www.newforestproduce.co.uk.

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contacts:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans-mcdaid@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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