New Forest Marque - and local produce for Lymington

Local Produce and the New Forest Marque - an introduction 

 

New Forest Marque endorses locally grown and made New Forest produceThis report has been written for lymington.com by Jane Overall who is Chairman of the New Forest Marque.

 

With so much being reported about “nasties” appearing in our food, now has never been a better time to question the provenance and traceability of our food, and for us to source our food locally, supporting local independents and ditching the mass retailers.

So many of us are conditioned because of lack of time and/or money to do a one stop shop at the big supermarkets with mass produced food that sometimes has travelled almost around the world before reaching the shelves, being lured in with the BOGOF offers which we do not really want or need, and being sometimes misguided with their fancy marketing and confusing price comparisons into thinking that what we are buying with them is cheaper!... but we do have an alternative right on our doorsteps, and even if each of us only can manage a small change in our approach to shopping and eating it will go a long way to benefit not only ourselves, but to those around us trying to earn a living.

We are so lucky to have a wealth of fantastic farmers and producers right on our doorstep in the New Forest, and many of them hold the New Forest Marque.

So what is the New Forest Marque?

Loosehanger Blue Cheese.JPG - 47.29 KBThe New Forest Marque is a registered trademark which is only awarded to businesses which confirm to strict criteria relating to local provenance and good animal husbandry.   Eligible businesses can apply for membership, and in doing so, help customers to identify local businesses using genuinely local products.Lyburn and Loosehanger Cheeses.JPG - 56.75 KB

From free range eggs, poultry and meat to home-made jams, chutneys and artisan cheeses, one can buy virtually anything on one’s doorstep be it from a Farmers’ Market or local farm shop, and you know that where you see the Marque logo, that you have a guaranteed New Forest product, which has been grown, reared and produced in the Forest.

As the late Luciano Pavarotti was quoted as saying “one of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating” and what better way to do this than to source and enjoy eating local food.

Whatever time of day you want to eat, there is a wide variety of places where you can enjoy the food.

My favourite start to a leisurely Sunday morning, is catching up with the local newspapers whilst enjoying a gorgeous locally produced breakfast – if I am feeling really lazy I’ll indulge this guilty pleasure and visit one of the many local cafes or hotels who provide a “New Forest Marque” breakfast including sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms all from New Forest Marque producers, followed by toast and some award winning local home-made preserves, or if I feel like cooking at home, I’ll source all the ingredients from my local Farm Shop or Farmers’ Market safe in the knowledge that not only am I helping the local economy and getting more in touch with the local community, but also cutting down on those food miles that we hear so much about these days.

Another weekend treat (although for me, not after a big breakfast, I might add!), is a visit to one of our lovely country pubs, where a simple traditional ploughman’s lunch is elevated by the use of some cheese from Lyburn or Loosehanger.  

Lyburn and Loosehanger Cheeses 2.JPG - 42.81 KB

 

Having been fortunate enough to watch  Loosehanger’s cheesemaking in progress, makes me appreciate even more the time, love and effort that goes into these beautiful handcrafted cheeses, so far removed from the “plastic” generic and flavourless offering so often to be found on some menus masquerading as cheese.



The Marque however, is not only about food, you can source all manner of local products from hand-made soaps, wooden charcuterie boards, aromatic lip balms and candles, mohair yarns, alpaca products and wine to name but a few, so you do not need to go far to find that unique hand-made gift.  Even man’s friend is not left out, as one of our newest members makes treats for dogs!

 New Forest Marque Cheese.JPG - 55.57 KB

To find out more about the New Forest Marque, its producers and where you can buy and eat local products, visit www.newforestproduce.co.uk or follow on Twitter @newforestmarque or Like  NewForestMarque on Facebook  

 

 

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