“We are driven to make society a healthier place.” – Edward Johnstone, founder TSP

Here at Locate Productions we are committed to encouraging a ‘green ethos’ to try and do our bit to combat the effects of climate change and the disastrous impacts this has on our planet. We support local businesses and trade as part of this.

One thriving, local business that we are proud to support is the The Sussex Peasant (TSP). Based in Sussex, TSP is a mobile farm shop that aims to bring the finest local and seasonable produce from sustainable Sussex farmers to the local people. Their main goal is to inform people of the value of local produce and educate them on where and how their food is sourced.

One of the founders of TSP, Ed Johnstone said;

“It makes sense for Sussex residents to source their food from their own county and we make it possible for them to eat home-grown, quality produce all year around. Our vegetables are organic and our traditional, native breeds of Sussex livestock are free range and 100% pasture fed. We work directly with family run farms in Sussex in an effort to make seasonal, Sussex produce more convenient to people here in Sussex.”

 When speaking with TSP we were disturbed to hear that only 1% of food farmed in the home counties remains there to be consumed by the local community – a statistic that TSP are setting out to change.

 

At Locate we were very keen to get involved and help promote TSP, so we introduced them to Jack Boniface – one of the photographers we work with (www.jackboniface.com). Jack was eager to get involved and is based down in Brighton so seemed like the perfect fit!

Jack Said, “The Sussex Peasant are an interesting company to work with as they are more representative of the farmers/producers than clients. They share a common philosophy with their producers in that what they sell, grow, or catch is directly related to the season. By having this close relationship with producers they are able to explain and sell the best produce for any given time of year, meaning first class products that are also sustainable, eco-friendly, and varied as a by product of just being logical.”

Jack spent the day with TSP suppliers learning more about what they do and their partnership with TSP.

Ed said, “Jack is an incredibly talented photographer and his skill is clear. Through his work he has a wonderful way of vividly capturing the reality, hard work and craft of sustainable and traditional farming methods. As such, he captures The Sussex Peasant brand – what we do and how we it do it – seamlessly. He is also a very good bloke! I think this is key as it has allowed him to get to know and glean a deeper understanding of our objectives more closely.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a challenging task that TSP have set for themselves but no doubt an important one that needs to be encouraged. Ed mentioned most difficult thing about it is to stay focussed on their objectives without giving in to distractions due to the enormity of the task ahead – to change the face of food retail opportunities.

TSP has had a great impact on the local community with the importance of sustainable, local farmed produce becoming more of a mainstream topic of conversation. There is an ever growing ‘discerning’ customer base who are now becoming interested in operations like The Sussex Peasant. Since launching 2 years ago TSP have seen real traction in their ability to draw various different parts of the community together and make the food experience one to look forward to rather than one to dread.

“Something we are most proud of has been our success in creating a community hub where we trade: people come to shop, chat and meet up. Our customers have the ability to trace all food that is bought, safe in the knowledge that it has come direct from the farmers of Sussex.”

TSP has been running as a social enterprise in Brighton for two years and have won the ‘BBC Food Farming Award’ in 2018 and this year were awarded ‘Farm Shop of the Year’ in the National Rural Awards. Going forward, they hope to open up more mobile farm shops in Sussex and look further afield for similar networks of farms with mobile shops to offer support in other counties around the UK.

 

 

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We caught up with the owner of one of our favourite locations, Brown House, for an insight into her experience of recently hosting a multi-media shoot during lockdown.

What were your initial thoughts when you were asked to host a shoot during lockdown?

Personally I was happy with the idea, however some of the family were concerned about strangers coming into the house who might bring infection, so we thought about it quite a bit. It made an important difference that the shoot was in the garden rather than in the house.

What were your main concerns ahead of the shoot?

The shoot itself was to be outside, but of course the crew would need access to the kitchen and the loo, so would not be entirely outside. The main concern was if the crew were not careful, they could inadvertently bring infection into the house. They were reassuring that they would be very restricted where they went and we decided we would disinfect the surfaces in the kitchen and the loos after everyone had left.

How did the experience of this shoot differ to pre-pandemic shoots?

Everyone was absolutely delightful, as always! On the recces, everyone wore masks, used hand sanitiser and kept their distance. They spent very little time inside the house, for instance they waited for each other and talked outside, rather than all being in the house at the same time.

How was your experience while the shoot was happening?

I was in the house to start with, but out for most of the day. The team were thoughtful, for instance they suggested opening up the side gates to give most people direct access to the garden, which limited the number of people who needed to come into the house. And they brought a winnebago, which was used as a green room instead of using a room in the house. During the day, someone needed to make a call – rather than just go ahead and use the study, they phoned me to ask if it would be OK for that person to sit in the study to make that call, which of course was fine.

Did you feel that the Covid-19 safety precautions put in place by the production were adequate?

Yes, very much so. Everyone was wearing masks, including outside even though it was hot. Most or all people were outdoors most or all of the time, they set up tents outside, so there were just a few people in the kitchen. Covid warning signs were also put up,  reminding everyone to wash their hands and the loos were clearly signed so no-one would go into the wrong rooms – they were very careful. And the house was left immaculate afterwards, as always.

What advice would you give other location owners, ahead of hosting a shoot in the current climate?

It’s a personal choice, people must make their own decisions. However I am happy we did it and this was a few weeks ago, the virus was more prevalent then than it is now. When we got back in the evening, we wiped down with disinfectant all the doors and surfaces where people would have been, it didn’t take long.

Any further comments or interesting tidbits you’d like to add?

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