6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

James Warren: Making 2017 the year to buy local

PUBLISHED: 11:45 23 January 2017

James with his Mangalitsa and Berkshire pigs on the RSPB Arne Reserve (Photo by Matt Hardy)

James with his Mangalitsa and Berkshire pigs on the RSPB Arne Reserve (Photo by Matt Hardy)


Choose a New Year’s resolution that adds to your life and supports the local economy, says James Warren

On January 1st around 15 million of us make New Year’s resolutions. Usually at the top of that list are - lose weight, get fit and eat more healthily. But as there will probably still be a whole shelf in the fridge taken over by cheese, cupboards concealing family sized boxes of chocolates, mince pies and other waist expanding indulgences – those good intentions often fall at the first hurdle.

So this year, why not choose a resolution that immediately adds to your life, not one that makes you resent it. ‘Buying local’ is more than just supporting local producers - please note I did not say suppliers - it’s about sharing your ££ within your community; it’s about finding out where you can buy lamb from the fields you drive past on the way to work, and beef from the tractor driver that you got stuck behind the other morning as he carted his silage trailer up the hill to feed his cows, or stopping at the honesty box by the allotments to pick up a bag of freshly picked runner beans.

I promise you that this initial connection to local produce will add hugely to your meal time. It will even taste better. Remember how good home grown tomatoes tasted or that mackerel you caught on holiday last summer? The produce will almost definitely be better for you too as it is fresher and less likely to have been meddled with, I’m talking about all manner of additives and preservatives which seem to be added to even the simplest of foods nowadays.

You will also be contributing the local economy, possibly resulting in more employment for local people. In my experience cutting out some middle operators means these direct markets can be very competitive on price.

Hopefully this will just be the start of your ‘buy local’ resolution; soon you will know what questions to ask to get what you want, hopefully not just local provenance, but genuine quality in the animals, fish and plants used as well as the methods or style of farming, as this is every bit as important as simply “local”.

Before long you will know your Mangalitsa from your Landrace, your White Park from your Friesian, and your day boat fish from your trawled. No longer will ‘local butcher’s sausages’ be enough to convince you of provenance or quality, or ‘South Coast fish’ suggest any form of freshness or sustainability.

Farmers’ markets are a good place to start your local food revolution, as is your high street butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and when you are happy with the answers - buy. In turn this will make your local shops more accountable, responsible and ultimately 
willing to stock the local quality products we should all be able to afford and enjoy. Now that would be a great way to start the New Year and continue as part of a healthy and positive lifestyle. 

5 easy ways to get started

• Find out where your meat comes from

• Know what UK veg are in season

• Make a soup with leftovers

• Try a new food shop/butcher/farm shop

• Eat locally caught fish once a week


Steve Harris: Dorset’s food scene hitting new heights - From wasabi and knobs to gin and vodka, Dorset has taken its local food scene to delicious new heights and is creating a whole new generation of food and drink heroes


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Tue, 11:27

These awards celebrate Dorset’s best food and drink producers and businesses, and we’re proud to announce the 2017 finalists nominated by you

Read more
Tue, 11:00

Helen Stiles seeks out the crème de la crème of deliciously stylish afternoon tea venues in the BH postcode

Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Dorset really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Helen Stiles experiences the multi-sensory delights of a tasting menu at Seasons at The Eastbury

Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

At The Ship Inn in West Stour, Gavin Griggs runs a great village pub for the community alongside a destination dining venue with an interesting seasonally inspired menu which he devises with head chef, Bruce Core

Read more
Friday, August 25, 2017

From shacks on the beach to fancy dining, Sue Quinn shares her favourite Dorset places where you will find the freshest locally caught fish and shellfish in the country

Read more
Thursday, August 24, 2017

No 34 at The Orchid Hotel is setting foodie’s pulses racing thanks to the locally inspired menus of Michelin-starred chef Jean Gysemans

Read more
Monday, August 14, 2017

Want to keep your food miles low and your taste experience high? Alice Cooke reveals some of the county’s best farm shops

Read more
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Combining wood fired pizzas and pub grub classics The Old Inn at Holt is certainly a crowd pleaser. We caught up with Head Chef, Josh Garrett, to find out more

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot is famous for its sumptuous afternoon teas. Head Chef, Steve Titman tells us the secret to making it special

Read more
Monday, July 17, 2017

Head Chef, Wayne Joyce, says his ethos of using seasonal and sustainable ingredients means sensational flavour-packed dishes are always on the menu at Urban Reef

Read more
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

At Dorset Magazine, we know that one of your greatest passions is the food and drink produced in this county, and the farms from which that produce comes. This year the glamorous awards evening will be held at The Italian Villa on September 28. Voting is now open…

Read more
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An elegant makeover, great location and a locally sourced seasonal menu are a winning combination at The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury, says Helen Stiles

Read more
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Whether you set out on bike or on foot, Dorset Food & Drink have come up with a great way for you and your tastebuds to explore the county’s food scene this summer, says Jane Adkins

Read more
Pure Weddings advert link
South West Life advert link
A+ South & South West
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

subscription ad
subscription ad

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Dorset Magazine Application Link

Local Business Directory

Dorset's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search