“A humbling and enriching experience” – what happens when buyers, suppliers and supporters of Good Food in East Sussex connect

On a sunny Monday in March, over 50 people came together at Montague Farm on the Pevensey Levels to reimagine shorter, more human and tastier local supply chains in East Sussex.


Hosted in one of Montague’s historic farm buildings, nine suppliers of local produce set up stalls backed by iconic views of the Pevensey Levels. From market garden produce, to organic dairies, to locally-grown and pressed apple juice and much more, it was a great opportunity to celebrate the beautiful range of produce that can be grown, fermented, cooked up and distilled in East Sussex.

After a chance to network between the different buyers, suppliers and supporters of Good Food, we settled down to hear from different actors working in different ways to build better local food systems. Sarah from South Brockwell’s farm shared the work being done to create a real farm-to-fork culture across all areas of the farm, from the farm school to the farm shop to the newly opened restaurant. LDFP supported South Brockwell’s to provide Christmas hampers to the families of 44 young people participating in the ‘Mini Farmers’ programme last year, so we were particularly interested to find out more about the farm’s ethos centred on connections with the land.

We also heard from A Share of the Crop’s Kevin, who, with his veg box delivery scheme, aims to rebuild connections between people living in urban environments and the people working the land in local farms, orchards and market gardens. Food justice and redistribution charities UK Harvest and the Felix Project rounded things up by explaining the work they do to support farmers to prevent farm-gate food waste and engage communities through connections with Good Food.


“It was great to be reminded of the like minded community around us” – Rachel, Murph’s Market Garden


All of this talk of Good Food was enough to build up quite the appetite, and luckily enough we were treated to a delicious spread for lunch: sausages, pigeon kofte, cheese and quiches courtesy of South Brockwell’s Farm, a warming lentil soup prepared onsite by Seven Sisters Spice using produce from Murph’s Market Garden, cheese provided by High Weald Dairy, pouring yoghurts from Court Lodge and apple juice pressed from the heritage apples at Heron’s Folly Market Garden, with dessert provided by Dima’s Pistachio Treats.

 To help us digest our lunch, Martin gave us a tour of the organic livestock farm at Montague, sharing with us his passion for lapwings, water beetles and the rare Fen Raft Spider (which, alarmingly, is large enough to eat small fish). Martin and his family have put in a huge amount of work to welcome this precious variety of fauna and flora back to the farm – including allowing large swathes of wetlands to be restored. It is a humbling reminder of the value of interconnection between humans and the other living beings that enable and enrich our lives.


“For us city folks and specially cooks it is important to know the countryside around us and see what folks are doing with the land. It is a humbling and enriching experience.” – Diego, Palmito Restaurant


Organised by Wealden Food Partnership in partnership with Good Food East Sussex, this event has underlined the importance of connections across the beautiful landscapes that nourish us and felt like a hopeful step in the direction of a local food system that works better for people and planet. By providing a space for buyers and suppliers committed to Good Food to connect, we are looking forward to seeing the
collaborations that emerge moving forwards and hope that this is the first event of many.


With thanks to the organising team of Helen from Wealden Food Partnership and Alex from Food Matters, Montague farm for hosting us and all of the buyers and suppliers that provided lunch, offered samples, made connections and shared experiences. 

Click here for the Good Food East Sussex Buyers and Suppliers directory

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