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Blog #4: Local Produce Show - By Jim Hayward

March 2014

I was asked by Hampshire Fare & Business Solent to sit on an expert’s panel at the Local Produce Show. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and it was great to speak to some other chefs who were on the panel, including; Luke Holder of Lime Wood Garden, Andy Lazenby of Waitrose’s Leckford Estate, Luke Matthews of Chewton Glen & James Golding of The Pig.
It was a Q&A session and I think I was sat in the worse position, at the end. So when they asked us to introduce ourselves. I just had too long to think about it. I must have changed my introduction 4 times in my head. But, there was no slip ups. It went something like this (I think). Hi I’m Jim, Group Development Chef of Ideal Collection. I started working for the company 6 years ago as Head Chef of The White Star in Southampton, helping grow the business from 3 to 7 sites in the last 2 years. We, as a company love supporting local food and suppliers as much as we can. 
And here is a couple of questions:
Question one: 
How important is the carbon foot print when deciding which company to procure from?
All of our suppliers are based in Hampshire with the exception of harvest who we have just started using, so this keeps our food miles down, when looking for new suppliers we like to keep it local   
Question two: 
Would you consider taking on a small producer for a specific event? 
For example, as part of the Hampshire food festival 
Absolutely we love working with local suppliers and have done a very successful Hampshire fare event with Ian from sunnyfields in the past. We are always looking to do more events and use more local supplier if it is commercially viable. So please come and speak to me afterwards    

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