Posted: 04/09/2015

Scottish government launches farm shop campaign

first stop farm shop richard lochhead
Richard Lochhead MSP launched the four-month First Stop Farm Shop at Craigies Farm Deli and Cafe near Edinburgh

A campaign encouraging consumers to choose farm shops over supermarkets has been launched in Scotland, supported by the Scottish government.

The First Stop Farm Shop campaign, which was unveiled by Scotland’s cabinet secretary for food and rural affairs Richard Lochhead MSP this week, will see a four-month social media campaign targeting consumers across the country.

It has been devised by the Scottish Farm Shops Business Club, and received around £12,000 of funding from the Community Food Fund.

This fund forms part of the three-year Think Local initiative which was set up to promote local food & drink and drive Scotland’s reputation as a ‘Land of Food and Drink’ by Scotland’s Rural College’s (SRUC), on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Around 50 farm shops have already signed up to the campaign, with each farm shop running events and activities in store and online under the main First Stop Farm Shop umbrella, coordinator Anna Mitchell of Castleton Farm Shop in Laurencekirk told FFD.

It will concentrate on highlighting the provenance of local food, the importance of supporting the rural economy, education about food and farming and promoting health and wellbeing, she said.

Launching the campaign at Craigies Farm Deli and Café this week, Lochhead said it was a great way to encourage people to support local farmers and take advantage of the variety of Scottish fresh produce.

“Scotland has a fantastic natural larder, with some of the freshest, tastiest, most sought after produce in the world,” he said. “There are almost 140 farm shops across Scotland, offering everything from fresh eggs, succulent Scotch lamb and beef, delicious dairy produce and so much more. For those lucky enough to live near a farm shop, I would encourage them to make it their first port of call and support their local farmers.”

Will Docker of Balgove Larder Farm Shop, which is taking part in the initiative, said real growth can be realised when farming and food collaborate with the increasingly inquisitive tourism sector.

“Now more than ever before, there is a growing group of food pioneers that are rearing, growing and creating amazing foods in some of the most remote locations,” he said. “The commercial world is becoming a smaller place by the day and there’s a real buzz around what can be possible if you have the right ideas and wherewithal.”

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