Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Farm Shops -what should they sell

Yesterday I received an interesting piece of research from Speciality Food Magazine's news alert. Farm shops - according to the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society - are growing at 15 to 20% over the past year, the fastest rise of all sectors. Now I suspected this to be true if for no other reason than farm shops are one of the highly searched for terms on my website and of course I'm jolly pleased. But it does raise the question - What is a farm shop? Is it just a shop on a farm (in other words it could be anywhere) or must it offer some connection to the land and sell produce from that farm? Sometimes when I visit a farm shop it has nothing to do with where it is, it could be anywhere - in fact no difference from a corner shop, it just happens to be on a farm. This I think isnt on - our expectations are that a farm shop should offer own produce, then some local and some from the area - otherwise why bother. What do you think? Is it important? And when you come across these farm shops do they put you off the real thing?


  1. I agree, Farm Shops should have some relevance to its location, Vegetables grown or meat reared on the Farm with prehaps other products sourced from their local producers. Some Farm Shops I have visited are merely a dressed up version of a supermarket. Products presented attractively, vegetables from abroad and filling up the gaps on the shelves with products you can find in a million shops all over the U.K. I don't think this is a true representation of a 'Farm Shop'.

  2. When is a farm shop not a farm shop? When it doesn't support local producers and farmers and doesn't provide a good way of local people having access to good local food without the middle man of the supermarkets!
    We are in the process of setting up our own Farm Shop on The Cowdray Estate in West Sussex and I have done loads of research into what constitutes a good farm shop - hopefully we will get it right in June when we will sell meat and dairy from the estate to our very supportive community. Long Live the "proper" farm shops!
    Billy H