Devon farm shop lands top award

Torbay Weekly

Outstanding farm retailers were crowned winners in a national award ceremony to celebrate the very best in the business. Winners were selected in the prestigious awards organized by the Farm Retail Association (FRA), which was formed in 1979 to support the industry.

The Farm Retail Awards sponsored by specialist retailer COOK are the only awards judged by fellow farm retailers and celebrate the best farm shops, farm cafés and restaurants, farmers’ markets and trade suppliers in the country.

The 2022 award winners are: ‘Darts Farm’, Exeter, Devon, Sponsored by Cunninghams EPOS Group (Large Farm Shop Of The Year) – ‘Newton Farm Foods’, Bath, Sponsored by The Cress Co (Small Farm Shop Of The Year) – ‘The Lambing Shed’, Knutsford, Cheshire, Sponsored by Fleming Howden (Farm Café/Restaurant Of The Year) - ‘Flourish Foodhall & Kitchen’, Saltford, Bristol, Sponsored by Fieldfare (Rising Star Of The Year) - ‘Lavenham Farmers Market’, Suffolk, Sponsored by Yorkshire Agricultural Society (Farmers Market Of The Year) - ‘Kevin Stokes’, Farndon Fields, Market Harborough, Sponsored by CSY Retail Solutions (Lifetime Achievement Award) - ‘Lotmead PYO’, Swindon, Sponsored by Digitickets (Pick Your Own Of The Year) – Supplier Of The Year went to Joint winners ‘Malcolm Scott’, Worcester and ‘The Flying Fork’, Dorset, Sponsored by Farm Retail Association.

New FRA Chairman Rupert Evans said: “Our winners can be proud of what they have achieved, particularly in the challenging climate of the last 12 months. Congratulations to all winners – you truly are some of the best in the business!”

The award ceremony is part of a three-day annual FRA conference, which includes farm shop tours, an AGM, expert guest speakers and topical workshops. The AGM saw former FRA chairman Rob Copley handover to Rupert who owns ‘Denstone Hall Farm Shop & Café’, Staffordshire.

The conference day included practical workshops and guest speakers including Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks Chocolate, now a $100 million a year brand; and Anna Jones a farmer’s daughter and journalist, who’s worked on BBC One’s Countryfile, Radio 4’s Farming Today and reporting on agricultural issues for BBC News and the World Service.