15 October 2010, 18:40 PM
  • An East Lothian retailer was awarded one of the food industry's most prestigious titles – Local Food Farmer of the Year – at the Farmers Weekly Awards 2010

Knowes Farm Shop near Dunbar was praised by judges for its dedication to sourcing the best quality local ingredients – with one third of the shop’s sales being attributed to home-grown or homemade foods. 

“Our relationship with customers is, by definition, highly personal,” says Hilary Cochran, who runs the farm and farm shop with husband Peter. “They cherish that relationship and become involved in what we do. When people visit Knowes, they can see that this is a modest but authentic rural food store and they love our ‘We pick, you choose’ philosophy,” she continues.

“We also pride ourselves in supporting local, voluntary and charitable events as well as acting as ‘mother hen’ to start-up food ventures,” she adds. Knowes Farm Shop is one of the country’s oldest farm shops and welcomes over 1000 customers every week. An average of 900 dozen eggs are sold directly from the farm every week, while 120 tonnes of potatoes are sold every year in the shop.

The Farmers Weekly Awards seek to identify businesses which showcase best practice, inspire others and improve and promote the role farmers play in society. The coveted Local Food Farmer Award was independently judged by four judges.
“Peter and Hilary grow as much food as possible to sell in their farm shop. It sets an example of how every farm shop should be run,” says Lee Woodger, a competition judge and head of food chain for the National Farmers Union.