Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Unearthing local gems

Shirlee Posner introduces essence readers to a local food movement – Local Food Britain. For those looking for wonderful local produce and food events, why not follow Local Food Britain?

It’s a one-stop destination for local food research covering Surrey and five other neighbouring regions.

Local Food Surrey was launched by food public relations and marketing professional Tracy Carroll in 2012. Her mission was to make sure that anyone who was involved in the provision of local food and drink had a promotional platform. The concept has flourished and in 2014 relaunched as Local Food Britain and now includes Hampshire, Kent and Sussex.

To be included on Local Food Britain you have to pay a modest membership fee which provides you with space on the website to promote your business and be an active member of the local food community.

I always recommend that businesses join this community to raise consumer awareness and footfall, particularly at events. Social Media platforms have made a huge difference to small businesses, but that’s only part of the marketing story. Local Food Britain is an online research tool and Tracy and her team are constantly updating content to make sure relevant. Members get help from the LFB team to populate their pages, so the site looks professional throughout.

Last year Local Food Britain ran a Countryside Food Festival at Priory Farm in Nutfield where its business is based. Such was the success, that this year it’s back again on 14 September.
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Bake With Jack’s Jack Sturgess will be talking at Local Food Britain’s Countryside Food Festival
The line-up this year includes Bake With Jack, whose no-nonsense, fun presenting style has been showcased on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and Crumbs Brewing, which ferments its beer using leftover sour dough bread from brilliant craft and sour dough bakery Chalk Hills (which started its life at Priory Farm).

Highly recommended is newcomer to the event Mandira of Mandira’s Kitchen whose ‘Curry in a Hurry’ session is full of essential tips and her presenting style just delightful. Surrey-based chef (and former essence columnist) Laura Scott of How to Cook Good Food will be hosting a session on making vegan sushi.

However, what really makes me wish I wasn’t away for the event is the farm to fork talk with Beckie and Christian from The Salt Box and Ian from Dorking’s Hill House Farm. They specialise in creative, open-fire cooking and run informative workshops for children and adults to inspire and connect with the outdoors.

The Festival promises to be a perfect way to support local businesses with a donation from ticket sales to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Tracy wants to spread LFB’s geographical reach and carry on working with small food businesses to help them with their marketing. As for Brexit, Tracy’s view is that this could be a really good opportunity for small producers to gain more support from local consumers. Currently a weak pound means imports are costing more, and if movement of goods is a problem, then animal feed and kit may be difficult to source so this could be disruptive. But despite this unknown, the future looks bright for Local Food Britain.
essence info
Local Food Britain Countryside Food Festival
Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4EJ
10am until 5pm. Entry £3 per person (children aged under 12 free)

Shirlee Posner is a food writer and blogger at and provides social media management, web copywriting and food photography.