This week I was privileged to be at the FARMA conference and awards. This annual event helps farm shops grow their businesses as well as awarding the best farm shops in the land. As one of the fastest growing retail sectors in the UK and key customers always for any producer of speciality foods it is a good event to be at. Whilst farm shops should primarily focus on their own produce, followed by other good local produce, the key to making these businesses more profitable is to stock the “best of the rest” in terms of speciality food from the UK, and have some well-known speciality food brands that encourage customers to increase their basket spend, which is often far too low.
Many of the initial large farm shops developed in the South of England 10-15 years ago, but the north of England, Wales and Scotland have certainly caught up in recent years, and some of the best examples of good practice are now to be found north of Birmingham. This is certainly reflected in our growth over the last 2-3 years. Just look at this year’s winners: (more…)