29 January 2007, 18:49 PM
  • The quality of local Sussex produce was highlighted when the winners of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2006/2007 received their trophies at a glamorous awards ceremony on 25th January.

Winners included One Paston Place in Brighton for the Best Sussex Eating Experience; Brighton and Hove Farmers’ Market for Best Sussex Farmers Market; Cocoa Loco based in Partridge Green for Sussex Food Producer of the Year; Battle’s Fallen Angel Brewery for Sussex Drink Producer of the Year; Brighton-based Sussex and the City for Best Sussex Food Shop; and Sussex Butcher of the Year went to Bramptons of Brighton. 

Chairman of the judges, Clive Beddall OBE, underlined the quality of the winners during his speech and said, “Tonight gives us all the chance to publicly pay tribute to the 100s of Sussex producers - and at the last count that was in excess of 400 and still growing - who take meticulous care in providing high-class food and drink.

“I’m delighted that Sussex is at the forefront of the national revolution that is seeing British producers blend classic quality with technological innovation to win the hearts - and wallets - of more and more shoppers. Indeed, thanks to their ingenuity and the help of organisations like A Taste of Sussex they are becoming the envy of the wider world of food and drink.”

Mr Beddall also remarked the topical nature of the awards, as recent national research has shown that over 59% of the population is interested in buying locally produced food, a figure that is growing by the week. “As well as giving the county’s food and drink producers an inspiration and a lifeline, these awards are providing a much-needed boost to local economies. After all, a strong Sussex food and drink industry helps to ensure that our farmers and producers have a future and can thus continue to provide the countryside that we all enjoy. And that’s a goal that we should all be striving to achieve!”

Paula Seager, awards director and director of The Priory Partnership, organisers of the scheme said, “We are absolutely thrilled at how well these awards have been received and huge congratulations go to all our fabulous winners and to our wonderful sponsors who made this all possible. We also want to thank the 2,500 members of the public who voted in this year’s awards for their favourite producers and outlets and we hope that many more will vote next year, when we plan to introduce two more categories.”