I might not know what I’m going to do with these noble carrots and these earthy potatoes, but it makes me happy to know that I bought direct from the producer, that my (seasonal) strawberries do not have been shipped halfway. the world and that a minimum of plastic has been used in their transport.
The local farm shop is a somewhat more decent affair, the favorite cafe for lunching ladies. It always makes me happy to see locally raised meat, locally made pies, savors and cakes and rows of jams and chutneys carefully lined up with ‘Yorkshire’ on their labels. There’s even some Yorkshire-made gin for sale.
And now, new research from NFU Mutual shows that where food comes from and “buying local” is high on the list of consumer priorities. and supermarkets.
Eight in ten respondents thought supporting local businesses and the economy was a priority, with nine in ten citing friendly service as the main reason for choosing farm shops and similar local retailers this Christmas.
It makes perfect sense, and that’s why I urge everyone to support their local farm and agricultural opportunities as the year draws to a close.
The Farm Retail Association (FRA) reports that there are now well over 1,000 agricultural stores in the UK. In addition, there are at least 650 farmers’ markets, often monthly and operating in towns and city centers as well as in the countryside.
Farm shops and their cafes contribute an estimated combined turnover of over £ 1.5 billion to the UK economy, FRA reveals.
And they are also helping to transform the wider regional economy, putting Yorkshire firmly on the map.
Four years ago, Otley, near Leeds, made headlines when property portal Zoopla named it as one of the top UK sites where proximity to a farmers’ market had put a premium on real estate prices.
Interestingly, the market only emerged in 2002, and was created with funding from the Market Towns Initiative which sought to breathe new life into traditional city centers.
Ranked eighth as the only Yorkshire location in the Top 10 list, which included Marylebone in central London and Altrincham in Greater Manchester, the average price of Otley houses (at the time), at £ 273,625, was 52.5% higher than the price of comparable homes across Yorkshire (£ 179,421).
It is quite true to say then that ‘where there is mud there is copper’ as the old saying goes. Who would have thought that being able to walk on a Sunday morning to buy carrots fresh from their fields would have the power to influence house prices so much?
That doesn’t surprise me though. When I talk to southerners about what it might be like to move to Yorkshire, one of their first questions is often ‘is there a farmers market or farmer’s shop nearby’.
For some city dwellers, the idea of going for a nice piece of pork with the name of the pig is part of a special kind of fanciful bucolic dream, but the growing interest in sourced and sustainable foodstuffs of all kinds is good. real.
The popularity of the farmers’ market, on-farm shops – as well as U-Pick (PYO) establishments, on-farm vending machines, door-to-door deliveries, and local box systems – proves that our high-profile reliance on l Internet connection for everything has a flip side. It signals what forecasters call hybrid purchases, putting purchasing decisions directly in the hands of consumers. In our region, there is great potential to benefit from it.
Given the success of farm shops and farmers ‘markets across the county, I would love to see what Zoopla would do with the’ Farmers ‘Market Effect’ in Yorkshire now. The pandemic certainly hasn’t extinguished our interest, but has heightened the desire to stay – and support – local.
Return to the land has become a key driver of the future prosperity of our region. And if we know what’s good for us, in every sense of the word, we should support it all the way.
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