TV business expert partners with Farm Retail Association to help farm shops keep people 'shopping local'

Farm shops will be able to get expert advice from business guru Kate Hardcastle through a new partnership with the Farm Retail Association (FRA).

Kate Hardcastle and her team at Insight with Passion is working with the FRA to support farm shops and help them build on the surge in demand seen during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The aim is to build on the ‘shop local’ ethos which has seen an increase in the number of people using farm shops and farm retailers through the Covid-19 pandemic.

FRA chairman Rob Copley, who runs Farmer Copleys in Pontefract, said: “British farmers quickly adapted their farm shop operations throughout the pandemic and they really stepped up to serve their customers and communities. This meant shoppers had access to high quality, fresh local produce, often when supermarket shelves were empty.

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“By working with Kate, we want to build on this great work and help farmers remind shoppers that we’re still here and open for business.”

Ms Hardcastle and her team from Insight with Passion (IWP) will be supporting farm shops through their Access for All Programme which gives its time free of charge to support small businesses and community projects.

They will help with a series of initiatives to help farmers understand and adapt to changing consumer demands, the current retail environment promoting their shops and enhancing customer experience.

“Myself and the IWP team have been helping many small businesses throughout the pandemic and we’re really pleased to be supporting British farmers,” she said.

“Now more than ever we need to support them by shopping locally where we can and balancing where we shop, based on our time and budgets.

“We want to showcase the benefits to consumers of buying locally sourced British produce, such as the freshness and provenance and the associated sustainability benefits like less food miles and reduced plastic consumption.”

The FRA is managed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.