A Farmers’ Market founded by students at The University of Nottingham has been named as a finalist in BBC Radio Four’s Food Awards.
The market, held once a month at the University’s Sutton Bonington campus, is 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, recently 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”.
Organisers are delighted to have been recognised, having seen the market more than double 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.
After meeting the judges, market founder Emily Boothroyd explained: “I found out we had been nominated by hearing us mentioned on the Food Programme — it came as a real surprise as I hadn’t thought we’d have even been in the running being such a new market and not that well known.
“Both past and present organising committees are really delighted that we’ve been shortlisted. They are all full time students and as you can imagine, a lot of time and effort goes into the planning and execution of every market, so this is well-deserved recognition for all that hard work.”
Fantastic local produce
Putting the success of the market down to a lack of other provision in the area and fantastic local produce, Emily revealed that there are big plans to improve the market still further in the near future.
She continued: “We would like to open the market up to more people living in the surrounding area and expand the spring and Christmas markets. We also want to continue to promote local food awareness to students at every opportunity: be this through trips to stallholders’ premises or other food events.”
After sampling the food and atmosphere on offer, judge Kath Dalmeny added: “Farmers markets are a fantastic way to connect people to where their food comes from and the people that rear it, produce it and cook it.
“This market is a fabulous example of students accessing good food and bless them for deciding to make it possible. Just meeting the team you can see the care, energy and enthusiasm that they put in which all goes to produce a very well run and friendly market.”
The award ceremony will take place at the NEC Birmingham on 28 November 2012, find out more about the competition on the Radio 4 website or follow the Food Programme on Twitter.
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Notes to editors: 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.
The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia; according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2012, ‘Of all the British universities, Nottingham has embraced internationalism the most.’ It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK by 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.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…