“From relatively humble beginnings, the Local Produce Trade Show has just got better every year,” said John Davey, MD of Cavendish Ships Stores Ltd.

John has been involved from the outset and has seen the annual event grow in stature and influence.

“It started 12 years ago with a simple formula to get the cruise ships to buy local and it has evolved from there to an event which attracts celebrity chefs and important buyers from across the hospitality industry,” he said.

John recognised that key individuals have played a crucial role in developing the event and he praised Business South for bringing the event together each year.

“Tracy Nash from Hampshire Fayre and Shirley Wynne-Jones from the Business South events team have worked tirelessly to make this show the success that it is – and that is commendable.

“The development of the show wouldn’t have happened without them and I take my hat off to them,” he said.

Many local producers of everything from cheese to beer and gin are now supplying the cruise ships and there have been many success stories along the way, explained John.

“The show is a great way for local producers to meet buyers and we have had so many big success stories over the years with the likes of Lyburn Farm cheese and Catch fishcakes. Recently we had 300 individually wrapped boxes of fudge going on board Iona for its inaugural cruise along with local handmade artisan chocolates for the naming ceremony.”

“All these stories are fantastic and we look forward to more local producers being picked to supply the cruise ships and local hotels and restaurants,” he said.