FARMA, the trade body representing over 300 farm retailers across the UK, will host its next annual conference at The Grand Hotel in Bristol from 26th to 28th February
This year’s event looks to the future with optimism and aims to cover how farmers can understand how changes - such as the implications of Brexit and a younger consumer profile - can impact on their business.
The FARMA conference kicks off by exploring Bristol’s food scene with a ‘movable feast’, where 150 participants will be taken on a tour showcasing some of the region's best farm shops and local retailers.
There will also be an advice session for those new to the sector or who wish to build a network or create a business plan.
Michael Mack, managing agent of FARMA said, “The aim is to give those attending inspiration and ideas about how their farm retail businesses can flourish. 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, it’s vital to plan a path through the challenges ahead.”
Expert speakers will explore such topics as people, politics and leadership, starting the proceedings with an in-depth look at young consumers. The opening session will ask how well retailers understand young people, whether as customers or staff members.
Dr Paul Redmond of Manchester University and Nikhil Acharya from culture marketing agency Inkling will be discussing attitudes, desires, hopes and fears – and how farm shops can capitalise on a growing wish for authenticity and strong brand ethics to grow sales and attract new talent.
Best-selling author and regular Radio 5 Live contributor, Paul McGee, will bring the event to a conclusion with a session on leading businesses through change.
The conference also includes a butchery competition with AHDB, cookery demonstrations from Taste of Game, workshops on merchandising hosted by The Guild of Fine Food and more.
Those interested in attending the conference can find out more at FARMA.org.uk