Wellington food Festival is in great shape according to organisers Sarah & Bev Milner Simonds. Every one of almost 100 stalls was booked by January this year they told the Wellington Business Association’s monthly meeting. And increased sustainability is being built into the 2018 event.
As guest speakers Sarah and Bev explained to WBA members the story of how they moved to Somerset from London in 2012 and very soon afterwards started the Burnham food Festival with just five stalls and a bit of indoor space in a community hall.
“We didn’t aim to start a business.,” said Bev. “it just seemed a shame that all this fabulous local food wasn’t being noticed by people. We were buying wonderful beef from a farm just down the road and no one knew they were doing farm-door sales.”
EAT, as their festival business has become known, now organises events in a number of other towns besides Wellington and Burnham on Sea and has won a series of awards for its work championing locally produced food.
“We aim to have our stall-holders come from no more than a 25-mile radius,” said Sarah. “Although it isn’t always possible to keep strictly to that and have the variety that we need. We really do want every trader in the town to benefit, whether or not they have a stall. Last year we had 18,000 visitors to Wellington for the food festival, so that has to be good for local shops.”
The team have also enhanced the sustainability criteria for the 2018 festival which will be single-use plastic free with all serve ware being biodegradable. ” We have an opportunity, through our festivals, to inspire visitors through a raised awareness of environmental and sustainability matters; sharing our management decisions on reducing our environmental impact in partnership with our crew, our sponsors, local authorities, suppliers and traders is one way,” said Bev
“We have worked hard with our producers and Somerset Waste Partnership to come up with a solution for waste management that allows our producers and visitors to minimise their impact on the environment. Alongside our other 24 Sustainability Goals we hope make a positive difference through our festivals.”