We enjoyed catching up with members and chatting all things New Forest Marque at our recent AGM.

Kindly hosted by Careys Manor Hotel, the evening included an inspirational talk by The Naked Pantry & Quench owner Kathy Sirl.

Kathy shared the story of her journey setting up the New Milton business, including the support and advice she received along the way from the New Forest Marque.

Kathy highlighted the many ways in which Marque members work together. She said: ‘It’s about supporting our local businesses. We recommend each other and all sing each other’s praises. I can tell my customers the whole story about a product, giving people the face behind that product and explaining why it has been awarded the New Forest Marque.’

Kathy also spoke about the ‘kindness economy’ a term used by retail expert Mary Portas, who argues that we are all ready to put people and planet before profit, and in order to thrive businesses need to understand the role they play in our lives.

Certainly, Kathy has built a trusted brand and thriving zero-waste business in the New Forest and supports many local producers.

At the meeting, Marque Chairman Dan Parsons praised the Marque’s network of businesses who put the New Forest at the heart of everything they do. He also welcomed three new directors to the board, Charmaine Bennett, Mark Williams and Hilary Harper.

Visit the Naked Pantry website for more info about zero- waste shopping.