Page 14 - Worthing Lifestyle Jul:Aug 2019
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 The original
plastic free shopping
   Local farmers and farm shops help consumers to reduce waste...
The Farm Retail Association (FRA, formerly FARMA) is encouraging the public to shop at farm shops and farmers’ markets to help them reduce their waste.
Rob Copley, owner of Farmer Copleys
in Pontefract and Chair of the FRA said: “A huge number of these farm-to-
fork businesses have traditionally had less plastic produce packaging than supermarkets, and many have made an increased effort over the last 12 months. Customers can just choose the produce they want and use paper bags rather than plastic. By reusing produce boxes and egg boxes as well as moving to paper bags, one of our members Minskip Farm Shop in North Yorkshire estimate they have reduced their own waste by 45% since 2017.”
Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to many farm shops,
and some have dried goods dispensers for customers to use. FRA member Milly Stokes at Farndon Fields Farm Shop in Leicestershire says: “We reuse all our produce boxes for customers to carry their shopping home. We also buy bulk dried goods and display them loose in glass jars, our customers can re-fill their own containers. All our deli counter items are wrapped in brown or greaseproof paper.
We have had an overwhelming positive response from customers for our recent
changes to 100% eliminating single use plastic.”
Rob Copley agrees: “It is up to retailers to lead the way in reducing waste in store, which makes it easier for customers to reduce their own waste at home. As farmers and retailers, we are all about getting our produce from the field to our customers as quickly as possible and reducing waste along the way is part of our mission.”
Additionally, the Farm Retail Association has showcased the best farm retailers across the UK through the annual awards for many years. These awards provide
an opportunity for farm shops, farmers’ markets, PYO farms and trade suppliers to stand out.
For more information on this including farm shops and farmers’ markets visit:
www.farmretailassociation.co.uk
If you love quality food and would like to know about special events running across the country then the website may help.
In the calendar, you will find the dates of your local FRA/FARMA accredited farmers’ markets, special events being run at farm shops, food festivals that the organisation is involved in and other wonderful foodie events.
The primary aim of Farmers’ Markets is to support local farmers and producers, who sell produce they have grown or made to their local community.
If you head to a farmers’ market, what should you look out for?
• You should find real life farmers trading at the market.
• If the product is not a farm product you should meet with the producer; this could be the baker, cook, curer or jam maker and they should source their ingredients as close to your market as possible.
• The farmers and producers should come from your area; they should be part of your community where possible. Sometimes they may come from farther afield but only if they can’t get the products from a local producer.
• If you go to a market and see their sign, you know it’s a ‘real farmers’ market’.
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