New webinar to explore farm shop diversification

There is an increasing number of farming businesses looking at diversifying into farm shops to increase their resilience
There is an increasing number of farming businesses looking at diversifying into farm shops to increase their resilience

Farmers are being invited to join a free webinar focusing on those businesses that have diversified into farm shops to build up their resilience.

The Farm Retail Association (FRA) and rural insurer NFU Mutual are hosting the webinar on setting up a farm shop at 6pm on Thursday 25 June.

The panel will include farm shop owners who will be sharing their real life experiences and answering questions.

Free for anyone in the UK to join, the 90-minute webinar will also give an insight from both the FRA and NFU Mutual.



It comes as research highlights how farming businesses are frequently considering different diversification activities to increase their resilience.

NFU Mutual's 2019 survey found almost half of farmers (48%) were planning to set up or expand diversification schemes – a figure which doubled from the year before.



Jenny Rose, manager of the FRA - the national body supporting farm retail - said consumers were more in tune with buying locally 'than ever before'.

"By holding the event online we can still offer a helping hand and inspiration as well as bringing like-minded people together to think about ways to develop their business."

Farm shops across the UK have served local communities in what has been a critical time for food supply during the coronavirus pandemic.

A West Sussex farm opened a drive thru to help its customers buy local produce while minimising contact with other people.

Elsewhere, a Devon dairy business cut the price of its vending machine milk by a third to support the local community during the crisis.

David Harrison, farming sector lead at NFU Mutual, said: "From using drive-throughs to veg boxes, vending machines to socially distanced shopping experiences, consumers are valuing the high-quality produce and services that our farm shops have to offer.”

The webinar's speakers include Emma Mosey from the Minskip Farm Shop in North Yorkshire and Rupert Evans from Denstone Hall Farm Shop and Café in Uttoxeter Staffordshire.