Research from leading rural insurer NFU Mutual shows that 40% of people plan to buy more from farm shops and local producers ahead of Christmas, following huge increase in the number of people using farm shops during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rebecca Davidson, rural Affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, called farm shops a ‘lifeline to local communities’ who have worked round the clock to transorm their business and meet the demands brough about by the pandemic.
According to new research from NFU Mutual, supporting smaller, local businesses was the biggest reason people chose to buy from farm retailers and small producers over the pandemic. Fresher, better-quality produce was also rated highly, followed by the environmental benefits of buying local food.
Ms Davidson added: “Promisingly, 40% of people say they will use farm shops and local producers more this Christmas and there are encouraging signs that these changes are here to stay. In fact, a recent survey of our customers has revealed that shopping locally is the top permanent change they plan to make after the pandemic is over. There’s no better way to thank our farm shops and farmers for their hard work this year than by supporting them – not only over the festive season but into 2021 and beyond.”
Jenny Rose, Manager of the Farm Retail Association, said the reuslts of the latest NFU Mutual research was encouraging: “Much of this success story has been a result of farm shops being able to replenish shelves which has helped establish them as reliable food suppliers, alongside shops providing a relaxed but Covid-safe environment for shopping which consumers find less chaotic than other retail settings.”