Farmer's wife creates new Lincolnshire food and drink awards competition for British Food Fortnight

Community Volunteers for Love British Food - from left - Lauren Clark, Ronnie Ownsworth and Leisa Pickles.
Community Volunteers for Love British Food - from left - Lauren Clark, Ronnie Ownsworth and Leisa Pickles.

Fulbeck farmer's wife Ronnie Ownsworth is a Community Volunteer in the East Midlands for www.lovebritishfood.co.uk - the organisers behind the annual national British Food Fortnight campaign.

She has created some new regional awards to help encourage the people of Lincolnshire and other East Midlands counties to get behind British Food Fortnight.

Ronnie says: "I would love everyone locally to celebrate our food and farming during this event and enter into both this new competition and hopefully the national competition."

British Food Fortnight is a national celebration of British food and drink and all that is great about our home-grown produce.

It is held annually at the same time as harvest festivals are celebrated across Britain.

British Food Fortnight is the opportunity for anyone who works within the food and drink industry to come together and promote the benefits of buying and eating the food and drink this country produces.

A national competition is run annually in association with Co-op, to look for the best community celebration of British food taking place that year during British Food Fortnight.

Ronnie has been a member of Love British Food since 2013 and since then has been actively promoting the British Food Fortnight campaign.

Back in 2015 she was asked to become Community Volunteer (East Midlands) to play a regional role in promoting the campaign.

To encourage more Lincolnshire businesses, organisations and groups to engage with the celebrations and be tempted to enter the national competition, Ronnie approached the organisers at Love British Food at the beginning of this year to ask if she could organise and sponsor East Midlands regional competitions.

There is a chance to win one of the three prize certificates up for grabs – Winner; Runner Up and Commended (the same three award certificates will be available to compete for in the other East Midland counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and Rutland).

“I felt that the winners of the national competition always seemed to come from the south and that we didn’t have a winner from the East Midlands and that’s why I thought organising local awards would help motivate everyone up here to celebrate British Food Fortnight and hopefully encourage them to also enter the national competition,” said Ronnie.

British Food Fortnight 2019 takes place between September 21 and October 6.

Leisa Pickles from Find Me the Leads Ltd and Lauren Clark, County Development Officer at Nottingham Young Farmers Clubs (both from Nottinghamshire) also became East Midlands

Community Supporters for Love British Food this spring and along with Ronnie will judge local entries and award the finalists with their certificates shortly after British Food Fortnight ends, with a photo opportunity and press coverage for the winners.

“We want to encourage smaller groups, individuals or those who don’t have big budgets for such events (but who have lots of passion, drive and community spirit) to enter these Lincolnshire Regional Awards by creating a community event promoting and celebrating their local and British food," said Ronnie.

How to enter the British Food Fortnight Lincolnshire Regional Awards:

* Hold a celebratory event during or around British Food Fortnight (which could also include a best decorated shop window display and food tastings) between September 21 and October 6, 2019.

* Take plenty of photos and post them on your social media sites don’t forget to include @lovebritishfood @Ownsworths #Lincolnshire #BritishFoodFortnight #BritishFoodisGreat in every tweet or facebook post

* Email details of your event to info@lovebritishfood.co.uk before midday on October 18, 2019.

Want ideas of what your group can do? Visit www.lovebritishfood.co.uk click on the heading British Food Fortnight and scroll down to Taking Part. Here you will find sections for Caterers/Food Service, Consumers, Councils, Producers, Pubs/Restaurants/Hotels, Public Procurement, Retailers, Schools, Universities, Churches/Faith Leaders and all the inspiration

you could need.