- The rise of clever advertising being undertaken by food businesses to link their products to farms is hard to miss, says Michael Mack from FARMA
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Recent figures from Mintel show that between October 2015 and August 2016 there was a 4.9 per cent rise in the numbers of people who try to buy British food when they can. In the same timeframe, 5.1 per cent more consumers were willing to pay more for British food. These figures could go some way in highlighting why supermarkets brand lines using false farm names or terms such as ‘farmers’ market bananas’.
In response to this, FARMA has been looking at how it can support the independent farm retailer to compete with the big retail giants to connect with their customers.
The first new initiative formed by the association is the launch of a new certification scheme for ‘Real Farmers’ Markets’. Over the past year, FARMA members have been working together to create a certification scheme that enables customers to have genuine trust that when they visit a real farmers’ market.
The second step FARMA has taken is to launch a Primary Authority with Norfolk Trading Standards. By working with Trading Standards, FARMA members will be able to explore how branding legislation is interpreted and implemented. The partnership will also enable FARMA to play a greater role in the consultation on labelling and branding issues.
Retailers connecting their products to a farm and farmer enables the business to trade on the value of being a farmer; trust, responsibility, hard working and from the earth. We must therefore ensure that independent farm retailers have the tools and support around them to compete with these businesses.
Real Farmers’ Market certification has been designed to make the process more accessible for markets to get involved while also ensuring the important elements of a farmers’ market are protected. Primary Authorities have long been used by supermarkets to ensure that all shops get consistent advice for tackling legislation, reducing the cost over all to the businesses. We felt it was important that farm retailers also had the security of constant legislation.
If you would like to find out how FARMA is supporting farm shops and retailers who champion local farmers, please visit farma.org.uk
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