FOOD and drink producers are being invited to showcase their produce at a major show in the new year.

The Local Produce Trade Show, which will take place at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on Friday, January 24, connects high-quality producers with catering and hospitality trade buyers.

It aims to develop supply chains and show the importance of the region’s food and drink sector.

It is organised by Business South, and sponsored by Cavendish Ships Stores, Carnival UK, Cunard, Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, New Forest Marque, and Paris Smith, and has been supporting local producers for over a decade.

In 2019, the sell-out event showcased more than 60 food and drinks producers introducing their products to more than 350 chefs and buyers on the day. Stands for the 2020 event are said to be selling fast with Beachcomber Gin, Chalk Stream Foods, Hill Farm Juice, Mozzo Coffee and Goddards Brewery amongst those already confirmed.

Previous buyers have included Carnival UK, University of Southampton, Ideal Collection, Hampshire County Council and Hilton at the Ageas.

James Barnes, digital marketing manager at Broughton-based Hildon water, which will be returning for the 2020 event, said: “The Hildon name, synonymous with classic style and quality, started its 30-year journey on a humble 160-acre dairy farm deep within the Test Valley countryside near the village of Broughton.

“Since then Hildon has gained an international reputation as one of the most iconic British bottled water brands and is now available in 36 countries worldwide.

“Hildon has been involved with the Local Produce Show since it started and we have always found it to be a great platform for connecting with other Hampshire businesses. We thoroughly enjoy hearing the amazing stories of the local producers that present at the meet the buyer panel and is always a pleasure to meet all the suppliers who are attending for the first time.”

Karen Bass, founder and distiller at Lymington-based Beachcomber Gin, said: “Beachcomber Southern Sweet Gin launched in 2018 and since then it has won two silver awards and is a finalist in the New Forest Marque Brilliance in Business Award for Food and Drink, so the business is going from strength to strength.

“I run the business on my own and strive to offer the best gin and the best personal customer service. I am looking for customers both on and off trade and would like Beachcomber Gin to spread further along the coast.”

Leigh-Sarah Timberlake, executive director of Business South, said: “The Local Produce Trade Show connects our region’s exceptional food and drink producers with buyers who are looking for delicious, new and local products with authentic provenance.

“Our local producers not only support the regional economy, they also help to define it, by creating products that are characteristic to the region, and by enabling our food heritage to be preserved and celebrated.”

More information is at