18 November 2008, 16:05 PM
  • Chatsworth Farm Shop has been named Farm Retailer of the Year and Best On-Farm Butchery at the FARMA Local Food Awards 2008 – 2009.

“I am thrilled to receive these prestigious awards on behalf of the farm shop staff, the farms and producers on the Chatsworth estate, and all our local and national suppliers,” said Andre Birkett, farm shop manager. “It’s a great honour to win, as the competition is assessed by fellow farm retailers and people who really understand the sector and who recognise and celebrate the individuality of farm shops.”

The Farm Retailer of the Year Award recognises excellence in marketing, management and retailing, as well as a commitment to environmentally sustainable farming and production of food. The judges felt that Chatsworth Farm Shop had found a winning combination with an exemplary retail site that has maintained its connection to the surrounding land.

“I am absolutely delighted for everyone at Chatsworth who has worked so hard and deserves to win both these awards,” commented the chairman of the judges, Gordon Wilson. “People sometimes find it hard to believe that an estate shop can be so authentic in its commitment to local sourcing and the environment. What they don’t always realise is that Chatsworth has been doing this for years and it is the rest of retail that is catching up with them.”

Chatsworth Farm Shop began life in 1977 in a 20 sq ft converted tack room opened by the then Duchess of Devonshire as a means of selling meat and dairy from the estate’s farms to the public. More than 30 years on, over 60% of sales still come from goods produced on the estate, and almost everything else is sourced from within the British Isles.

Other winners at this year’s FARMA Local Food Awards include Goldy’s Farm Shop, Doddington Farm Shop & Café, the Farmers’ Cart, The Organic Farm Shop, Parkside Farm Pick Your Own, Moseley Farmers’ Market and Brigg Farmers’ Market. John Park at Low Sizergh Barn won the Lifetime Achievement Award.