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FRA celebrates the best in the game at annual farm shop awards

Posted: 1 April 2024

By Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Farm Retail Association Awards 2024

The Farm Retail Association revealed the award winners for 2024 among its 325 UK members at its annual conference in Peterborough last month. 

Described as “a fabulous farm shop focused on Yorkshire produce,” with an exemplary butchery, delicatessen and new restaurant, the winner in the Large Farm Shop of the Year category was Farmer Copleys. The Pontefract-based farm shop also took the title of Best Pick Your Own of the Year. 

Heather Copley, CEO of Farmer Copleys, said: “We’re blown away, not just winning one but two awards. 

“It means so much to us, as these awards are voted for by our peers and I’m so pleased the efforts of the whole team have been rewarded.”

Alder Carr Farm Shop in Suffolk was named Small Farm Shop of the Year while Runcton Farm Shops was deemed to have the Best Farm Café/Restaurant of the Year for its menu “centred around outstanding produce, in a bright and fresh setting with lots of natural light”. Being less than two years old, the Chichester Shop’s use of renewables and impressive product range earned it the title of Rising Star of the Year, too. 

Butchery of the Year went to Welbeck Farm Shop in Nottingham while Barnard Castle Farmers Market ranked highest in the market category. 

Industry consultant Fresh Retail Group was named Associate Member of the Year, and Abbey Leys Community Farmer’s Market Janet Harrison was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

This was to celebrate her work promoting farmers’ markets around the UK and internationally, as one of the people behind the World Farmers’ Markets Coalition.

The chair of the trade organisation, Emma Mosey said: “Congratulations to all of our winners whose dedication and passion is reflected in the standard of their businesses. 

“We thank them for their commitment to the industry which they help to grow and thrive.”

The award ceremony was part of a three-day annual FRA conference which included farm shop tours, an AGM, guest speakers and topical workshops.

The conference included practical workshops and guest speakers including Olympic Gold Medalist, Ben Hunt-Davis, Becky Miles of Real Success and International Guest Speaker, Richard McCarthy, President of the World Farmers Market Coalition.

This article first appeared in the April 2024 edition of Fine Food Digest .