The popular student-run Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market has been named Market of the Year in the 13th BBC Food & Farming Awards.
Dubbed ‘the Oscars of the food world’ by Jamie Oliver, the awards showcase some of the UK’s most exciting food and drink businesses.
The market, held once a month at The University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, was one of three to be chosen as finalists in the ‘Best Food Market’ category.
Judges Kath Dalmeny — Sustain’s Policy Director — and TV chef Valentine Warner, visited the market to sample the food on offer after deciding it perfectly fitted the competition criteria of “serving its local community providing fresh, high quality and affordable food, particularly in areas neglected by other retailers.”
“I was incredibly impressed by the market,” said judge Valentine Warner. “It was well thought out and offered an impressive variety of produce to the students — some of which I was surprised to see, but delighted to know they were buying.
“What I also liked is that where the stall owners were giving student discounts it was still worth it for them as the market was supported by so many students. It was very encouraging to see everyone selling out.
“The Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market was well organised, very friendly and very forward thinking — a fun day out as well as a good place to learn more about ingredients.”
The market has more than doubled in size since it was launched in May 2011. Over 35 local food producers now attend the market, providing a range of locally produced meat, vegetables, cakes and more.
The Sutton Bonington Farmers Market was initially launched following donations from alumni and friends of the University, including the Old Kingstonian Association (OKA), the alumni association for the Sutton Bonington Campus, and the Cascade programme. Adeel Khan, President of the Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market Society, was delighted at the news. He attended last night’s awards ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham with fellow committee members and the market’s founders.
“It’s absolutely amazing, such a brilliant feeling,” Adeel said. “We’ve only been going for 18 months, so when we were told we were finalists we were just pleased to have got that far.
“But to be winners is huge — this is the BBC Food and Farming Awards! It’s a real honour, we’re over the moon.
“This win will really spur us on to make the market the best it can be for our customers and stall holders. The next market is next Wednesday — and it’s the Christmas market. It was going to be really special, but it will be even better now we’ve got this award.”
The Christmas Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market takes place on Wednesday 5 December between 11.30am and 3.30pm. Stalls can be found in the Rushcliffe Restaurant and Charnwood Room of the University’s Sutton Bonington campus.
For more information on the market, visit the society’s Facebook page, or email them.
The BBC Food and Farming Award follows on from the news that the Sutton Bonington Allotment Society achieved ‘Level 4: Thriving’ in the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
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