A GROUP championing food and drink in Hampshire has welcomed a new face to its team.

Hampshire Fare has appointed Natasha Dochniak as commercial manager replacing Tracy Nash who has headed up the organisation over the past decade.

Tracy said: “It has been amazing to work with such a colourful array of businesses over the past 10 years and within a business culture that wants to help each other. I wish Natasha and the team all the very best for the next decade of celebrating local as one of the country’s leading food and drink groups.”

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Natasha is Southampton born and bred and studied at Bournemouth University. She worked on marketing campaigns for the National Trust before moving to Australia to forge a career in partnership and sponsorship management, events and business development for significant operations such as Sydney Opera House, the Historic Houses Trust of NSW and FINSIA (Financial Services Institute of Australasia).

After returning to her roots, Natasha was working in financial services and not looking for a new challenge until a friend and long-standing member of Hampshire Fare, Sylvia Puckett of J & S Fresh Fish, flagged up the opportunity at Hampshire Fare as she thought Natasha would be a great fit.

Natasha said: “I have certainly had a warm welcome and my early observations are that I have joined a vibrant food, drink, craft and farming community of passionate people who all share the common purpose of producing and promoting local.”

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She continued: “I am very excited to have joined Hampshire Fare. This role brings together all my skills and work experiences. I am all about building long-term relationships, communication and collaborations. I consider it important to work for an organisation where your values align and I can see that Hampshire Fare is all about making a difference. I believe, looking forwards, I can make a positive impact and difference to Hampshire Fare, making it even more effective for its members in the food, drink, craft and farming communities.”

Hampshire Fare chairman Will Dobson added: “The board would like to thank Tracy Nash for her unstinting efforts over the last decade, working with enthusiasm and energy to promote local to consumers, businesses and the next generation. She leaves a lasting legacy – a highly respected food and drink group. She has also left big boots to fill, however I think we have succeeded in filling them with the appointment of Natasha Dochniak who brings such a wealth of experience to the role. Natasha is brimming with great ideas and we are excited to see what is in store for Hampshire Fare and its members.”