Farm shop receives retailing accolade

The National winner in the Countryside Alliance's annual Best Rural Retailer competition was announced during a reception at The House of Lords in front of the media and parliamentarians.

Having been short listed as the winner for the South of England, Foxbury Farm Shop, in the Burford Road, Brize Norton then went on to be awarded the accolade National Best Local Food Retailer.

The judges said: "Foxbury ethics are Foxbury first, local second and British third. You can barely keep up with the amazing range of produce on offer at Foxbury. The Farm shop is outstanding; nothing is sold before owner Colin Dawes has seen it produced, and is happy that it is of the highest quality."

As well as the produce, the commitment to the local community is central to Foxbury, with schools coming to tour the farm.

The judges said one initiative involved presenting Burford School with £50 of produce and showing the pupils how to cook a meal, which helped to ensure that the next generation knew the importance of local healthy food.

"This commitment to local produce and health and knowledge of the next generation makes the business really stand out as something special. The shop has vision, but also celebrates the UK's farming heritage," the judges added.

Owner and farmer, Colin Dawes, said: "This award is recognition of all the hard work put in by my family and staff and the loyalty of customers in supporting local food."

The National judging panel consisted of Simon Hart (chief executive Countryside Alliance), Zac Goldsmith (editor The Ecologist), Dr Stuart Burgess (The Rural Advocate and chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities), Simon Heffer (editor The Daily Telegraph), Mike Stones (deputy editor Farmers Weekly) and Alexia Robinson (director British Food Fortnight).

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