Farm shop reaches awards finals

A Cornish farm shop has reached the finals for two prestigious awards in recognition of its superb locally produced produce.

Richards of Cornwall in Hayle is one of six farm shops in the UK to reach the final for the 'Best Newcomer' title from the National Farmers' Retail and Markets Association (FARMA) and is among ten finalists for a new 'Own & Local' award, which celebrates the unique contribution that farm shops bring to food retail.

The family-run shop, which opened in November 2004, started selling four home grown vegetable lines and has since diversified to selling free range meat and poultry, homemade baked goods, preserves, juice, award-winning cheese and home grown fruit and vegetables under its own 'Cornwall's Favourite' label. All the products under the new label are produced within a 50 mile radius of the farm.

Business partner Andrew Richards said: "Our success in the awards so far acknowledges the commitment and passion of all family members and staff to the business; the desire to learn from others and work with the community to fire a growing vision.

"Improving our own produce, and buying from and encouraging local producers has been rewarding for us personally, as well as making shopping more interesting for our customers.

"We hope that everyone will support us as we go all out to impress the judges in the finals for this award!"

So far the shop has had to complete a detailed entry form and contend with a visit from a FARMA mystery shopper. In the next stage, the shop will be visited and assessed by experts from the farm retailing sector.

"This is what makes the FARMA Awards special," said Rita Exner, FARMA secretary.

"What customers get from their farm shop visit is clearly important but we also look for first-class retailing management skills and evidence of working for and with communities.

"Richards of Cornwall should be very proud to have reached the national finals in these prestigious Awards."

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