By Lorraine Gibson.
IT was a proud moment for Love Local Trust Local (LLTL) – the organisation dedicated to supporting the county’s producers – when Dorset’s Charlie Jeffreys was named runner-up in the MasterChef: The Professionals finals.
“What a great achievement,” said LLTL’s Barbara Cossins. “Seeing him showcasing wonderful crab and lobster from our shores and lots more loveliness from his Dorset upbringing – he was so proud of his roots.”
Barbara cites Charlie as being a great example of why Love Local Trust Local was founded in 2018 with the aim of telling the stories behind local enterprises and helping them promote their produce.
“It’s very tough at the moment in all areas of business, and it doesn’t look as if it’s going to be any easier in 2023,” she said. “We need to stick together and feel part of something that we can grow. No matter where you are, if you need help, we are all part of the Love Local family.”
The last couple of months have been busy ones for the organisation as sponsors and judges have been visiting the 2022 awards nominees and hearing their journeys first-hand.
Then on 9 February, this will culminate in an awards ceremony held – after what’s bound to be a splendid dinner – at Kingston Maurward agricultural college in Dorchester.
“It’s a night to celebrate our wonderful producers, farmers and fishermen who are working hard to make some of the best produce in England,” said Barbara.
She added: “If anyone would like to come and support our evening or get involved and be part of this growing family, contact us on 07831 184920.”
The next step in the process will be showcasing the winners, all of whom are right on our doorstep. They’ll reveal not just their accolades but the stories that it is hoped will get them noticed by the public.
Barbara points out that campaigning and using social media are particularly hard and expensive for small independents trying to make a living.
“We need a voice to stand up to big organisations which dictate our prices and make the money while our producers struggle to make ends meet,” she said. “We are so lucky here in Dorset as we have some of the best produce in the country, so let’s get behind local businesses that need our support to keep them going, growing and producing for our tables.
“We should buy local – it’s better for our planet, keeps the carbon footprint down and is more sustainable.”