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16

Jul

2014

Celebrating 150 Years Of... Farm Shops

We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 150th year of trading in 2014, and thought it would be interesting to consider just how far we have come and how the world has changed in that time! This is the second post in a series on the theme of 150 years and this time we’re looking at the renaissance of farm shops.

The UK food retail industry is becoming increasingly diverse with the last decade seeing a widespread renaissance in the field of farm shops and artisanal independents. The country is now home to powerful industry organisations such as FARMA, and the resurgence of interest in fine, ‘homegrown’ food has been felt across the whole spectrum of society both in the countryside and urban areas.

This surge in popularity of buying fresh and local produce harks back to the way people would have shopped when Gadsby first opened in 1864 and starts to rebuild some of the local food networks that the previous Gadsby generations would have taken for granted.

Whilst the renaissance of farm gate sales is particularly popular in our home region – the South West – the trend can be seen all over the country and it’s easy to see why, there are just so many positives to shopping locally:

  • Good for the environment – there are minimal food miles involved and it requires a lot less packaging, which also means less waste!
  • Great for the local economy - by keeping the money in your local area, more jobs and businesses are created locally and it helps farmers make a decent profit for their produce.
  • Brilliant for your health – buying local food is fresher and has higher nutrient levels, with far less contaminants and pesticides.

150 years ago, everyone would shop in this way and the population reaped the benefits! Without any of the convenience we have today, such as fridges, supermarkets, cars and processed foods,  it is reported that most people ate 10 portions of fruit and veg per day, twice the current recommended level of five (which a lot of us struggle to reach!)

At Gadsby we love popping to our local farm shop, which is just a few minutes’ walk from our office, and stocking up on the best local produce. This just goes to show that whilst so much has changed in the past 150 years, some things stay very much the same!

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