Young consumers targeted as driving food retail

Farmers are being told to position themselves to meet obstacles as the food retail sector is expected to be impacted by the current political climate.

According to Michael Mack, managing agent of the National Farmers Retail & Markets Association (FARMA), the sector should greet the future with optimism.

The aim is to give those attending inspiration and ideas about how their farm retail businesses can flourish, he explained ahead of the groups annual conference later this month. It is a hugely rewarding sector emulated by supermarkets, garden centres and artisan food businesses across the UK.

To maintain this reputation and stay ahead of the game, its vital to plan a path through the challenges ahead.

Taking place at Bristols The Grand Hotel from 26 to 28 February, the FARMA conference will explore the citys food scene with a moveable feast. The 150 expected attendees will be taking part in one of four facilitated tours to some of the areas best farm shops and local retailers. For those new to the industry and who want to build on their network or create a business plan, there will be an advice session.

Catering to the young consumer will be a main area of focus during the conference. The opening session will challenge retailers as to how well they really know the young generation as both the customer and a staff member.

Paul Redmond of Manchester University and Nikhil Acharya from Inkling brand consultants will be in attendance to discuss attitudes, desires, hope and fears, and how the sector can capitalise on an increased demand for authenticity and strong brand ethics to grow sales and entice new talent.

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