& July/August 2017
FESTIVE FLYERS Fine food distributors on their top products for Christmas
BACK TO SCHOOL A neat way to market to mums come September
ANDRÃ‰ BIRKETT KEEPING IT FRESH 21
From fizzy mead to seaweed margarita: all you need to know
REGIONAL GUIDE The South East 04/07/2017 15:41
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Welcome... ...to the July/August issue of Farm & Deli Retail. The team has had a great couple of months, visiting a range of shows from Taste of London to Caffé Culture and more. We’ve loved meeting everyone and getting the chance to discuss the latest and best products available on the market. This issue’s big interview is on page 21 with André Birkett, head of Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop in Sheffield. André began working on the farm shop back in 1984 as a chef, and has been instrumental in building the business and its successes over the past 33 years, culminating in his promotion to head of farm shop in 2001. With his decades of experience in the sector, André explains the importance of local produce within his business, why transparency is a great motivator for staff, and how he keeps his customers coming back. Our product pages this month include snacks and chutneys, and for your customers with children looking for healthy packed lunch options, take a look at ‘Back to School’ on page 46. We also hear from Tea People in the Next Big Thing on page 42, discussing the launch of its new turmeric tea, consumers’
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increasing awareness of turmeric’s various health benefi ts, and how Tea People is connecting teadrinkers in the UK with schools in Darjeeling. We’ve got you covered for Christmas with our distributor feature from page 28, where we hear from top UK distributors on the must-have products to be stocking for the festive period. You’ll also find our Christmas drinks special, where we explore festive trends and what your customers will be buying this year, from page 37. The Speciality & Fine Food Fair is fast approaching, promising visitors a “voyage of artisan discovery” with over 700 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, including over 50 artisan chocolate producers in the Speciality Chocolate Trail. Our show preview on page 34 provides all the information you need to know. That’s all from us this issue. As always, please feel free to send any suggestions or comments through to the FDR team, we would love to hear from you. Have a great read, see you in September. Ash O’Mahony Features Editor Farm & Deli Retail
Out & about...
The Farm & Deli team get hands on at Taste of London, where more than 200 artisan producers and purveyors showed their wares
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MARKETING AND CIRCULATION
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Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
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AGENDA Is frozen food about to enter a new age?
Trend report; blogspot; association news
13 15 16 19
THE REAL DEAL Make sure you thoroughly research your products to avoid fraud
ENGAGING TIME-POOR CONSUMERS
STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS Three cutting-edge pieces of technology to make your life easier
FESTIVE FLYERS Fine food distributors showcase their top products for the festive season
ADDING VALUE WITH: A PLAY AREA How to go about adding a play area, and success stories from farm shops that have done it
SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD SHOW Looking ahead to this year's event
How to sell to a generation of customers who are increasingly busy
UNDERPERFORMING STAFF Gemma Murphy advises on how to deal with underperformance of employees
MARKETING SUMMER EVENTS
Two farm shops and two delis tell how they successfully market events
14 39 42
INTERVIEW: ANDRÉ BIRKETT The head of Chatsworth Farm Shop is balancing modern methods with traditional values
48 49 50
CHRISTMAS DRINKS SPECIAL What to sell in the holiday period, including trends and our pick of the best boozy beverages
NEXT BIG THING How Tea People is connecting tea drinkers in the UK with deprived schools in Darjeeling
REGIONAL GUIDE We showcase the best of the best in products and events from the South East
BACK TO SCHOOL Products with personality to sell as part of a 'back to school' lunch package
LATEST PRODUCTS: SNACKS Our selection of crisps, biscuits and bars for your on-the-go offering
BROADEN YOUR RANGE OF... CHUTNEYS Relish, marmalades and more to add to your shelves
THE STORY BEHIND... Icelandic yogurt with Hesper Farm Skyr
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Nico De Villiers
Heather Copley Director, Farmer Copleys Ltd I think the category is wider than frozen food, it’s actually ‘time saving’. We have seen a massive swing in the shopping habits of our customers, they want to eat farmfresh, quality foods that they can trust but they like it if we can do the majority of the preparation! We have seen increases in the ‘good-to-go’ foods and a reduction in straight meat sales where they cook from scratch. Sales are still up, but in different sectors of the business. This works for smaller independent businesses as we can accommodate these trends and swings quickly. We recently moved our cafe to its own buidling to increase the time-saving retail area, 6
which will be a mixture of chilled and frozen. There is of course no waste with frozen foods, which our new younger, very food-savvy, ethically knowledgeable clients love. They don’t see frozen with any negative stigma as some of our older clients may. We have seen another aspect to this generation: they like to be involved, so if they can purchase a few different elements from a mixture of chilled/frozen, then put them together to form a dish, this creates buy-in and ownership, which they can then share via social media. We hope this is the case, as we are pursuing this avenue in our retail business. Exciting times ahead! Again!
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Is frozen food about to enter a new age?
Manager, Lawson’s Delicatessen We started offering frozen ready meals five years ago, and have found that demand has increased significantly in that time. Lawson’s Delicatessen is located in Aldeburgh, a town that has a large population of the older generation, and we’ve found that frozen ready meals are particularly popular with that age group. At a certain age our customers seem to think: “I’ve been cooking for long enough in my lifetime,” and turn to the quicker and easier options like our frozen meals. We are currently investing in marketing our frozen range to our younger customers, but at the moment the vast majority of people buying
our frozen foods are older. Frozen meals are just such a great timesaver for our customers, whose feedback has been that the quality and convenience of our frozen products keep them coming back. All our frozen food products are created by our in-house chef, using the best local ingredients we can source, we work hard to make sure they are delicious and what our customers want. We’ve gradually expanded our range of frozen food and meals over the years, and we now offer one, two and four portion meals like pies, lasagnes, curry, fish, vegetarian dishes and more. We also offer a few frozen side dishes like
dauphinoise potatoes but we keep that range fairly limited as we’ve found our customers prefer to buy sides fresh. For the moment, we’re going to keep to our existing range, but I’ll be looking at revising it next year to match what our customers want. I think a frozen ready meal range is a great addition to a farm shop or delicatessen, but the quality of the product needs to come first. I buy a lot of frozen meals from other delicatessens and farm shops to compare to what we sell at Lawson’s, and I’ve found that the quality has been lacking, so that’s something I think as an industry needs to be worked on. www.farmanddeliretail.com
I think a big draw of our frozen products is that they aren’t pre-packaged – customers can select how much or little they would like to purchase of our range
Director, Bragazzi Deli Ltd I feel in recent years frozen food has been given a negative image via mainstream high street supermarkets concerned with providing low quality processed convenience foods through bulk purchasing. First-hand experience in Italy suggests an alternative attitude to frozen products is possible, broadly speaking I felt the produce within these specialised frozen outlets was generally of a higher quality and freshness than those at ambient temperature or ‘fresh’. This was especially noticeable in the hotter months. Personally, I believe the frozen market has not earned what feels like a negative reputation www.farmanddeliretail.com
in the UK. Frozen products allow us to enjoy products all year round, with a positive emphasis on little or no food waste. There is no provision currently for frozen food at Bragazzi due to the size of our units; however we do stock a range of high quality Gelati during the summer months. We’re always looking for new products and opportunities and would welcome stocking a range of frozen food if the product was right and we had adequate floor space. I think customers would be receptive to new frozen products given the right product choice and knowledge. This could be a future opportunity. If the produce is of
Shop assistant, Arrow Farm Shop I think customers would be receptive to new frozen products given the right product choice and knowledge. This could be a future opportunity
high quality, not highly processed and treated correctly then I can’t envisage a reason why the frozen industry can’t flourish.
The benefits of stocking frozen foods for us are numerous. Our customers get a great quality range of easy, quick food, and as a retailer we have products with a long shelf life. Our customers serve out the portions they would like of our frozen products, which offers maximum convenience with minimum packaging. We’ve been offering frozen foods for as long as I’ve worked at Arrow Farm Shop, which is over eight years now, and in that time I’ve seen our frozen range grow in popularity with our customers of all ages – particularly the OAPs. I think a big draw of our frozen products in particular is that they aren’t pre-packaged,
customers can select however much or little they would like to purchase of our range, which includes fruit, vegetables, pastries including sweet and savoury croissants, Belgium waffles, Yorkshire puddings, garlic mushrooms and onion rings. We also offer frozen ready meals, which we buy in and are really popular. We keep a close eye on what is selling and what isn’t on our frozen food range, and constantly change our offering to keep up with our customer demand. Ten years from now I think the range of frozen foods available to be stocked will have expanded even more, it’s definitely a growing market.
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
TREND REPORT • ICE CREAM IN SPACE • BLOGSPOT • ARE YOU GOING? • ASSOCIATION NEWS
Fine food consultant Scott Winston predicts the top three emerging trends over the next 12 months
Selfridges’ recent ‘wastED’ pop-up with Michelin-starred chef Dan Barber highlighted not only how innovative we can be with food, but also how essential it is to maximise what we have. New brands to look out for include Dash Drinks and Snact Fruit Jerky, both made with second grade produce that would otherwise be wasted, and Sea Chips, a delicious salmon skin crisp made from 100% salmond industry waste product.
2 Health and wellbeing
The food scene is hugely orientated around health and wellbeing at the moment, and is by no means at saturation point just yet. New and innovative arrivals include No1 Rosemary Water, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Porshn superfood powders, which deliver plant-based nutrients in carefully measured sachets, and Mindful Bites, which offers a new spin on nut butters. There’s even Skinny Prosecco, a low sugar alternative to this indulgent classic.
3 Insect protein
This is sure to be a polarising one, but there is no getting away from the fact that with a growing global population and question marks over the impact of farming more traditional forms of protein, future generations may need to turn to insect protein for sustenance. It’s already out there, and I’m not talking about eating a cricket on a stick, or a dried mealworm. Practical and palatable choices are already in the marketplace: Jimin’s Grub, Yumpa and Jungle Bars all use insect protein, and insect powder is now available as an ingredient for home baking.
THE FORAGING FOX BEETS OUT THE COMPETITION Founders of condiment brand The Foraging Fox collected the Clean Eating Award at the FoodTalk Show Awards on 12 June, for its Hot Beetroot Ketchup. The award follows its recent success in hitting its UK distribution target of more than 1,000 stores. Frankie Fox, co-founder of The Foraging Fox, commented: “Since launching in February 2015, The Foraging Fox has quickly developed a significant UK and overseas presence. The recognition that award wins give us can contribute greatly to how the brand is perceived, and help open doors. The Clean Eating Award is a great addition to the trophy cabinet, as clean eating has such widespread public awareness at the moment. This year has been incredible, and there are further significant announcements in the pipeline.”
Paul Hargreaves, chief executive at Cotswold Fayre, also released his early Christmas predictions in July. He suggests that colourful products with a strong visual impact will be a big hit, along with a lot of excitement already surrounding their Pork Scratching Calendar.
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Blogspot BEN WATSON ON EXPANSION
Association news FARMA heralds the PYO season and opens applications for its certification
s the days lengthen and warm up, farm retailers across the country have opened their doors for the PYO season. One of the earliest to do so was Clive’s Fruit Farm in Worcester, with strawberries on sale during the summer half term holiday. For some this has seen a boost to early PYO trade, while others have seen the glut of fruit coming onto the market, depressing prices. With the arrival of summer, we’ve also seen the start of the show and food festival season. Visitors to the Royal Cornwall Show had the chance to see the amazing stand of local produce put together by Lifton Farm Shop. Its stand incorporated over 7,000 potatoes and 500 cauliflowers to create a Shaun the Sheep diorama. Across in Norfolk, White House Farm Shop (FARMA Newcomer of the Year 2016) won the coveted title in the public vote for the Best
Sausage in the Battle of the Bangers at the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival.
Real Farmers’ Markets
The FARMA certification process for Real Farmers’ Markets has started to receive applications from markets across the UK. The revised certification scheme has focused on ensuring that farmers’ markets are adhering to a set of ten overriding principles. These principles are designed to ensure that when attending farmers’ markets the public can be confident that the produce on sale is truly being marketed by those who produced or grew it. The application process has been simplified and members of FARMA can access the process at: www.farma.org.uk All market organisers are subject to an independent audit, which is undertaken by NSF to ensure that the guiding principles are adhered to by all approved markets.
Ben Watson of Ben’s Farm Shop shares his thoughts on changing names and opening up a new shop Coming to terms with the fact that we’re now Ben’s, rather than Riverford, Farm Shops has brought on a bit of soul searching. I haven’t written a mission statement for 20 years, instead getting on with selling what I thought was good food. Our mission is simple: to provide an enjoyable, informative and rewarding food shopping experience. Nothing has changed apart from the name, but we’ve opened the Wine & Tapas Shop/ Bar in Totnes and as some of you might have heard, we’re opening up on Magdalen Road in Exeter in a couple of months, but we have no plans to take over the world and definitely won’t be heading much further east. I have a deep-seated mistrust of big production line and food businesses, firmly believing that the associated compromises in quality far outweigh any benefits. Larger retailers create a vacuum for smaller, ‘outside the box’ food producers and retailers. The multiples have created a blueprint model that the consumers judge against. EHOs and the FSA look at the laboratory conditions and risk assessment of big operators without acknowledging that the dangers are not always relevant to smaller ‘kitchen’ type businesses. So small can work, but big isn’t always bad. Yeo Valley is pretty big, and seems to have maintained its integrity, making a range of excellent dairy products. The wellknown local business Riverford Organics is getting quite sizeable and it’s hard to criticise its credentials, but we’re happy in the minor leagues. Everyone has their place and I’m happy where we are. We toyed with further afield but now, if someone said to me: ‘Why don’t you open in Bristol?’ my response would be ‘Why don’t you? We’ll give you a hand.’ bensfarmshop.co.uk
INDIE FARMER ON SELLING MEAT Social media sensation Nigel Akehurst, aka the Indie Farmer, discusses how to market lamb to younger generations I was visiting some friends up in London a couple of months back, on a short weekend break from life on our family farm. “I love your Indie Farmer lambing pictures on Instagram,” exclaimed Joana. “They are so cute. But you know I just can’t bring myself to eat lamb.” Oh dear, I thought. Clearly my efforts to reconnect consumers with where their food comes from isn’t having the desired effect. If only my Instagram likes translated into sales – we’d be able to direct sell our entire crop of lambs several times over. Sadly Joana isn’t the only one who isn’t eating lamb – Sheila Dillon from the BBC’s Food Programme came to visit our farm recently to record ‘Out like a Lamb’, which looked at the downward trend of lamb consumption among young people in the UK, and asked what we do to reverse the decline. Sheila quizzed me about our family farm and how we can encourage a younger generation to eat lamb. I explained that through my Indie Farmer website, I’ve been showcasing a new breed of internet and social media savvy farmers who are creating their own brands and tapping into the growing consumer interest in where food comes from. They’re selling their meat and products direct rather than relying on supermarkets. To broaden the discussion, I invited a couple of female butchers and an ethical retailer down from London to join us. We debated marketing strategies, from providing consumers with more information on the different breeds of lamb and what type of grasses they were fed, to rebranding less appealing sounding cuts. These, along with better promotion of quick and tasty lamb recipes and getting more celebrity chefs to champion British lamb, would all help give our domestic sheep industry a boost. www.indiefarmer.com Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
HARVEST FARM SHOP CROWDFUNDS FOR CO-OP
Are you going?
Martin Godfrey of Harvest Farm Shop tells the story of its crowdfunding campaign to turn customer support into investment for the shop
ON, T S
Myself and Sara started Harvest Farm Shop two and a half years ago. We were running a weekly market stall in Okehampton when the previous owners approached us to see if we were interested in taking over Harvest Farm Shop when they retired. We wanted to
run it cooperatively, but it took us two years to find organic producers that we wanted to work with. The co-op models have proven very resilient. We’re nonprofit, with everything going back into the community. We do workshops
for the Okehampton school on local farming, local and organic food and impact to the environment. Children still appear to be unaware of where their food comes from and where it’s produced. The crowdfunding is a social investment and a wonderful means for customers and supporters to help us out. The shop’s customers wanted to contribute, and we needed to make a lot of improvements to make the shop functional. We need everything to be on wheels to reduce the time it takes to move stock from the cold room to the front
display, as well as new till equipment and a functioning counter. If we want to run certain workshops, we can use some of these funds to go towards the costs of the people we invite to run them, along with the insurance costs of these activities. We’ve produced an online video on our website explaining our aims. We were short of our target, but what we have raised is considerable and will allow us to do all the basic improvements. Our profits will then go towards the community’s education. www.harvestworkers coop.org.uk
WE W E HAV HAVE AVE LID O AV OFF Purbeck sent a tub of its ice cream (almost) into space, to find out whether ice cream would sufficiently freeze in space. The tub passed through the mid stratosphere, falling to -50¬º, before the plunging back down to earth. Having reached heights of 35,701ft on its journey of two hours and 42 minutes, the ice cream was recovered frozen and edible.
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
22-23 July Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival Funkirk Farm, Carleton wwyorkshiredalesfood anddrinkfestival.com 22-23 July The Great British Food Festival Knebworth House, Knebworth www.greatbritishfoodfestival.com/knebworth-house 25-26 July International Cheese Awards Nantwich www.internationalcheeseawards.co.uk 05-06 Aug Great Dorset Chilli Festival St Giles Park, Dorset www.greatdorsetchillifestival.co.uk 05-06 Aug Cambridge Thai Festival Parker’s Piece, Cambridge www.magicofthailand.co.uk 03-05 September Speciality & Fine Food Fair Olympia, London www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk 07 September Global Cheese Awards Frome www.globalcheeseawards. com
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It’s crucial to do your research on the products you stock, says Jo Blythman
raud in food retailing is easy to define: it is a crime that is carried out for financial gain, where the food is subject to substitution, dilution or misrepresentation. Passing off horsemeat as beef was one notorious example from recent times. Authenticity in food retailing is much trickier to pin down. Let’s suppose you buy a product called ‘Sunnydale Farm pork’. There’s no sun, no dale and no farm – not in the Old MacDonald sense, at least – at the place where this pork comes from. The factory-farmed pigs never see daylight or feel the sun on their backs, because they are confined indoors throughout their unnaturally short lives. Despite all this, there’s no fraud in the business calling itself ‘Sunnydale Farm’; even if it gives prospective buyers a thoroughly misleading impression, it’s still perfectly legal.
Customer confusion Certain supermarkets are masters at this game, artfully employing feel-good brand names that give the impression of a genuine, bona fide farm. Aldi, which started this wheeze, uses the name ‘Ashfield Farm’ for its meat; Lidl opts for ‘Birchwood Farm’ and ‘Strathvale Farm’. Tesco followed suit with ‘Rosedene Farms’ for fruits, ‘Redmere Farms’ for vegetables, ‘Boswell Farms’ for beef, ‘Willow Farms’ for chicken and ‘Woodside Farms’ for bacon. The latter was much to the consternation of a real Woodside Farm in Ireland, which began losing customers for its organic pork products because they feared that it was selling the same stuff that was found in Tesco. With supermarkets confusing their customers in this way, there’s a big opportunity here for farm shops to cater for people who want to know the truth about the origins and provenance of their food. If you produce something on your farm, whether it’s beef, milk, or berries, your operation instantly has a veracity that supermarkets can’t match. But even then, there are pitfalls. Unless your operation sells only food it produces, how can you be really sure about the
backstories of the lines you buy in to supplement your core proposition? Is the ‘artisan’ bread you’re sourcing from the local bakery sourdough or ‘pseudough’?
Whiter than white
If you sell products that appear to be of superior pedigree, be prepared for interested customers and the food police to drill down deep into your claims
Of course, grumblers will take any chance to argue that the higher prices charged by delis and farm shops are unjustified, because the goods are no different from the standard supermarket equivalent. The recent case of Hebridean Sea Salt plays into their hands. It was closed down by Food Standards Scotland, which alleged that 80% of the salt in its packs was not sea salt, but table salt from outside the UK. The company’s defence was that it used bought-in salt for its ‘seeding’ process to encourage crystallisation. It argued that it had followed regulations because the Isle of Lewis was “the place of last substantial change”. But any support for Hebridean Sea Salt rapidly evaporated when both the Halen Mon and Isle of Skye Sea Salt companies publicly refuted the notion that seeding with imported salt was acceptable. This sorry episode shows that if you play the provenance game, you must be whiter than white – excuse the salty pun. If you sell products that appear to be of superior pedigree, be prepared for interested customers and the food police to drill down deep into your claims. Farm and deli shop proprietors can do their level best to scrutinise the quality and authenticity of bought-in lines by asking searching questions of their suppliers, examining the small print of quality assurance and certification schemes, and even visiting production sites and farms in person. Alternatively, they can simply take at face value the skin-deep assurances of the sales rep. But it’s worth remembering that repeat business is predicated on a perception of integrity. Customer trust is a precious commodity that’s hard won and easily lost.
Further information Joanna Blythman is a food journalist and author of Swallow This. Twitter @JoannaBlythman
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
MEET US FACE TO FACE
SEE US ON STAND 1410G
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Engaging time-poor consumers Retail expert Stephen Brooks says the farm shop and deli sector needs to provide a quick and easy shopping experience for customers. Here’s how...
ustomers these days are increasingly busy, often feeling that they have too much to do and not enough time in the day to do it. When it comes to shopping, many consumers may feel they don’t have the time to leisurely peruse your offering – they will want to get in, buy what they need and get out again, all in the shortest time possible. Farm shops and delicatessens need to market themselves to these time-poor customers, and this can be done in a variety of ways.
OFFER CUSTOMERS THE OPTION TO ORDER AHEAD BY PHONE
Promote your phone number, and offer consumers a quick turnaround service if they phone their orders in ahead of time. Try to make sure your phone never rings more than three times – otherwise you risk your customers hanging up. Also ensure that the products your phone order customers receive are as fresh and perfect as if they had selected it in store themselves.
OFFER A HOME OR OFFICE DELIVERY SERVICE
Take the store to the customer.
Allow people the option to email their orders. This increases the ease and speed of shopping for customers, and has the added benefit of building your own customer database for future marketing – great for the business.
ALLOW PEOPLE TO ORDER THROUGH YOUR WEBSITE
Allow people to pay online and then simply collect in store.
CONSIDER A DRIVE-THROUGH
This service is definitely worth considering if you have the space to provide it.
HAVE A LOYALTY PROGRAMME
If you have the space, dedicate a checkout area or order point in store for those who are part of the loyalty programme, and offer rewards or discounts for regular or high-spending customers. Again, this can grow your customer database, and allows you to fast-track your loyalty customers through the shopping process.
CONSIDER BUILDING YOUR OWN APP
It may not be as expensive as you think, and it’s a great way to continuously market to your users, allow them to order online and give feedback. They can also share the app with friends and colleagues.
Time poor consumers.indd 15
Whichever way you choose to cater for your timepoor customers, make sure you properly promote the methods you select – this is the key to their success. Your staff are crucial, too; it’s their focus and dedication that will make your customers’ shopping experience a success. Ensure that they’re motivated, trained to the highest standards, and have a simple workflow area. Excellent customer service and driven staff will speed up the sales process naturally, and grow your loyal customer base. The landscape of retailing in all its forms is undergoing dramatic changes; Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods and offer of same-day delivery exemplifies this. Food retailers, particularly those online, are getting faster and easier to use, forcing brick and mortar retailers to up their game in terms of both service and convenience. In this climate, it’s essential for farm shops and delis to take a critical look at their shoppers’ experience and ask: what can I change to attract time-poor customers?
Twitter @StephenABrooks www.thepopupexpert.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
The good, the bad and the underperforming Acting early is the key to dealing with underperforming staff, says Gemma Murphy, head of specialist HR consultancy View HR – but don’t be too quick to dismiss
ny business with employees will have to deal, at some point, with underperforming staff. Whether it’s poor performance due to ill health or simply lack of capability, underperforming staff can be a time-consuming and sensitive issue for employers, and one that is often handled incorrectly. It must, however, be tackled – for the sake of all employees.
Nip it in the bud
It is implied in every employment contract that an employee’s work will be up to a certain standard. It is beneficial to expressly set out the standards required of each particular employee as part of their job description, targets, appraisals and so on. It is also beneficial for a business to have a capability procedure in place that sets out how underperforming employees will be managed. Dealing with performance issues at an early stage will save time and expense in the long run. If you tackle an issue early on, the employee is more likely to turn themselves around and improve. Employers should use probationary periods 16
to their advantage, and either extend the period or terminate the contract (subject to the relevant notice provisions) if the employee is underperforming early on. Similarly, appraisals and other review processes are of great importance when dealing with poorly performing employees. They provide a good forum to reflect on an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and set realistic targets and expectations. Beware of giving an overly flattering performance review if it’s undeserved; if an employee can show that they were scored highly in their appraisal, it will make it much harder for an employer to argue that they have been underperforming for a period of time.
Time to improve
Lack of capability is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it is extremely unlikely that an employee would be dismissed over their first instance of poor performance. In line with the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) Code, an employee should be given warnings and opportunities to improve their performance before dismissal is contemplated.
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
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The business should also consider why the employee is underperforming – it could be that more training is required, or that the employee’s work is suffering due to an underlying health condition.
While poor performance is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, this will only be fair if a full and correct procedure is followed. As with all processes, record-keeping during a capability procedure is absolutely crucial. A business will need to show that it acted fairly and reasonably by providing the employee with support and sufficient opportunities to improve. When targets are set, they must be realistic and achievable within a set timeframe, and feedback should be given to the employee at the end of that period. If sufficient improvement has not been made during the set period, failing to feed that back to the employee will make it difficult to progress the capability procedure further. Capability procedures and capability dismissals are commonly carried out in error by businesses, but when they are done right, they can be beneficial processes to
tackle poor performance and keep the business running smoothly and productively. We can’t forget that tackling poor performance also helps other employees, who are often carrying the can for their underperforming colleague. Capability management is a good strategy to support your whole team! View HR works with many businesses to support them when faced with underperforming employees. If you require assistance, please get in touch for a discussion on how we can help.
Employers should use probationary periods to their advantage, and either extend the period or terminate the contract (subject to the relevant notice provisions) if the employee is underperforming early on
milk • cheese
meat • skin care
NEW! Award-winning goat’s milk soap, hand and body lotion Fielding Cottage is a small goat farm in the heart of Norfolk. We supply farmer’s markets, delicatessens and restaurants across the UK with healthy goats’ cheese, milk and meat, and have recently expanded with our new skin care range. For us it all started with a bar of goat’s milk soap, a gift from a friend. That creamy bar of soap gave us the idea to offer Fielding Cottage goats’ milk skin care products. Our goats milk soap and goats milk hand and body lotions are now extremely popular. Our skin care products are: • Highly recommended for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dry skin • Free from SLS and parabens • Free from colourants • Not tested on animals • Suitable for all ages
01603 880685 sales@ fieldingcottage.co.uk www.fieldingcottage.co.uk
row your sales with our range o resh est ountry fish and many other amazing seafood and speciality products. Suitable for your chilled cabinets or selling over the counter. Small minimum orders delivered nationally. Full technical support available to our customers. Please contact us for our latest price list and special offers.
Call today for our latest price list and special offers
T: 08702 400172
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.meridian-sea.com
Tropical Tastes Be transported -to a world of exotic flavour
Snac , s BBQ SEASONINGS e ks, Spic Kits CONFECTIONERY Gifts l a e M for further info & wholesale prices email: email@example.com www.tropical-tastes.co.uk
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Something Different From Yorkshire Crisps! The Yorkshire Crisp Company, well-known for its unique, re-sealable drums of Yorkshire Crisps and Yorkshire Popcorn, has introduced an exciting new addition to its range of gourmet snacks. Titbits Gourmet Bites – described as ‘little pieces of perfection’ – are delicious, lightly-baked bite-size biscuits made from mature cheddar cheese and the finest oats. They are perfect for sharing over a glass of wine or great for popping in a picnic hamper. Suitable for vegetarians and containing no artificial colours, MSG or GM ingredients, Titbits come in Yorkshire Crisps’ famous stay-fresh, re-sealable drums (100g) and have a long shelf life of 12 months. They are available in two tasty flavours – Mature Cheddar & Finest Oats, or tangy Tomato, Basil, Cheddar & Oats.
For further information please call The Yorkshire Crisp Company on 01909 774411 or visit www.yorkshirecrisps.co.uk
lunch ad NEW.qxp_210x265 05/07/2017 11:41 Page 1
lunch! is unmissable. It’s invaluable to have so many products and trends under one roof. I am looking forward to the 10th anniversary at ExCeL London!” RAMTIN FATEMI, FOUNDER, THE ECLECTIC COLLECTION
Your award-winning trade show for cafes, delis and farm shops Book your free trade ticket for lunch! this September www.lunchshow.co.uk quoting priority code LUN23
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Steal the show An event is a great way to bring together your local community and direct them to your shop and its produce. It’s also a good way to raise the profile of your business – particularly on social media, as people will post and share things both while they’re there and after the fact
TASTINGS Arch House Deli holds regular cheese and wine tasting events, offering a tasting of six of the deli’s favourite cheeses and six perfectly paired wines. It also runs a Wild Gin Workshop, where attendees can create a bespoke gin using foraged plants and herbs to create a unique flavour. Director David Greenman says: “Cheese and wine events have been a real success for us. Of course they add a nice additional amount to turnover, but their main benefit financially is the profitability of each event, with minimal staffing costs and utilisation of the building when it would otherwise not be in use. We also offer a discount on wine and cheese for those who attend, which results in a healthy amount of sales both short and long term.” www.archhousedeli.com
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THEMED EVENINGS Umami Deli offers Turkish-themed evenings, offering five courses of traditional Turkish street food; customers can bring their own wine. Umami runs these events to demonstrate not only its cooking talent, but also the products it sells, including sumac, harissa paste, tagine pots and recipe books. “Events are the best way to showcase what you sell,” says owner Ava Hashemi. “We find that customers who come here for a sandwich at lunchtime may book to come with friends. This introduces the deli to new people in the area.” www.umami-deli.co.uk
OPEN DAYS Silcocks Farm Shop opens up its farm for three times a year, allowing customers to see where the produce comes from. Hannah from Silcocks tells us: “We find that open days work best for us because we’ve got the farm as well as the farm shop. Everything we sell in the shop comes from the farm, so to be able to show people where it’s all coming from is great.” www.silcocksfarm -organics.co.uk
We find that customers who come here for a sandwich at lunchtime may book to come with friends. This introduces the deli to new people in the area
Hartley Farm Shop puts on Tea & Jazz events, where customers can enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea while listening to jazz, blues and ragtime classics. “We love organising events outside of our normal café hours in order to show a different side of what we can do as a business,” they tell us. “Not only is it great for customers, but staff really enjoy the variety that working these events can bring to their normal week. “We try to have a good range of events, from supper clubs and food demonstrations to farm open days and meet-theproducer events. Tea & Jazz is the latest to be added to our lineup. It’s totally accessible to all ages (attendees have varied from 4-84 years old!) and is always very well received.” www.hartley-farm.co.uk Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
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tells us how Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop is both traditional and forward-thinking
André, how did the business start out?
Back in 1976, Duchess Deborah wanted to cut out the middle men from the farming business at Chatsworth, as they were taking the majority of the profits instead of the farmers. Chatsworth Farm Shop was opened as a result in 1977, originally as a 20ft2 building, which I believe was the first farm shop to operate on a private estate. The building that the farm shop is in to this day was built in 1910 to keep the Chatsworth shire horses that worked on the farms and forestry, but in 1953 Chatsworth became mechanised, so there was no need for the horses anymore. Since then the building was more or less unused, lots of it became derelict, apart from a few areas that were used to milk Jersey cows. To change the use of the building in 1977 from agricultural to retail, we had to apply for planning permission, and were given some restrictions by the planning committee. We could only sell half a lamb, half a pig or a sixteenth of a beast; our customers weren’t able to purchase steaks or lamb chops, they could only buy meat in those multiples. The main reason for the restrictions was that there were three local butchers
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
in the market town of Bakewell two miles from Chatsworth, and the planning committee didn’t want our farm shop to take business away from them. Luckily, the farm shop opened around the time of the introduction of the chest freezer, which was the must-have item that everyone was raving about. Half a lamb, half a pig or a sixteenth of a beast was the perfect size to fit into a chest freezer, so business wasn’t too adversely affected. Further investment was needed to expand the business, which went ahead in 1984, and since then we’ve never really stopped growing. Tell me about your role and what made you decide to get into the farm shop sector. I started out at Bolton Abbey, which is the Devonshire’s Yorkshire estate covering 30,000 acres. I worked at the Devonshire Arms hotel 22
on the estate for a year whilst I was studying food and hospitality in college. Initially I was just washing pots, but I worked my way up to become a breakfast cook, then worked as a chef on the weddings, functions and corporate hospitality section. Over my time at Bolton Abbey I was able to spend some time working alongside the Duchess’ private chef John Pierre, who ran the kitchen at the Devonshire Arms before he left to work at Chatsworth. A few months later, after finishing college, I received a letter from Chatsworth asking me to come and work for them in their private kitchen. I didn’t know much about it, but came for an interview and never left! In 1984, when the farm shop was looking to go to the next level, both John Pierre and I were sent from the private kitchen at Chatsworth to work on the expansion. We were able to turn
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
the old milking parlour in the building into a kitchen and bakery, making everything from bread and cakes to pâtés and puddings, which accelerated the business forward and was a real point of difference for the shop – not a lot of farm shops had on-site bakeries back then.
We’ve put a lot of work into analysing who comes to us – 50% are regular customers from the local area. Those people are our foundation
What is the company’s ethos?
Our ethos has always been: what we produce on the estate is first and foremost what we sell. After that, we sell produce from our tenant farmers, then the best products throughout Derbyshire, and then the best of the UK. All our lamb and beef is bred on the estate, we have a herd of fallow and red deer as well as pheasants in season – we’re very lucky that we’re able to produce a lot of the meat we sell right here. More than 50% of all products sold in the farm shop www.farmanddeliretail.com
have been created here at Chatsworth, and while we do sell a few products sourced from outside of the UK, it’s very limited. At one time, we only stocked UK products, but over the years we’ve had to adapt. We now stock fruit and vegetables that can’t be grown in the UK, some international cheeses and a selection of world wines because it’s what our customers want. You have to try and accommodate for everybody, and try to make your offering as complete as possible so your customers don’t go elsewhere. That’s why we have our own butchery, bakery and deli kitchen.
How is the business structured?
I report directly to the chief operations officer at Chatsworth, who controls Chatsworth House and all its associated businesses, which are retail, catering and the farm shop. I have a manager who works full time on the farm shop floor, carrying out the day-to-day duties and making sure the shop is running smoothly. Under the manager are the supervisors of each area of the shop – the head butcher, head baker www.farmanddeliretail.com
and head chef etc. Each supervisor then has their own team that works in that section of the shop.
What is your customer base like?
It’s very mixed. We’ve put a lot of time and work into analysing exactly who comes to us, and we’ve found that 50% of the people that come to the farm shop are regular customers from the local area, which is great. Those people are our foundation, they’re the loyal customers who come and visit in January and February when there are no visitors to the peak district. Twenty five per cent of our customers are visitors to the Chatsworth estate, either to the hotel, the caravan park or to Chatsworth House itself, who then decide to pop in and have a look around the farm shop. The remaining 25% of our customers are visitors to the Peak District National Park. How do you ensure you market your offering to that customer base? We focus on telling the story of our products, offering something new all the time and constantly changing and innovating
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017 23
our displays. We have storyboards up all over the farm shop in various areas that show where the products come from and how they were produced, and we also have a lot of in-house tastings, which are very important. We invite our suppliers to come and provide tastings as often as we can, and we also hold two food fairs in the farm shop over the year – one in April and the other in July. Customers are able to come and meet our suppliers, discuss products and taste something new. I believe tastings are vital for a farm shop, particularly for new or unusual products. If, for instance, I put a banana chutney product up on the shelf, it will just collect dust and nobody will buy it. If I get the supplier in to provide tasting sessions, we’ll get sales on the day as well as repetition sales weeks later.
How do you select your stock?
We do blind tastings at Chatsworth all the time to ensure we’re selling the very best products – though we do try to stay local as much as possible, if there’s a better tasting product from further away then that’s what we’ll sell. We have suppliers who we’ve worked with for 35 years, and we’re really proud of the relationships we have with them – we’re always looking for new suppliers of top quality products as well. Every month, myself, the farm shop manager and our buyer sit down and try about 100 different products that are new to the market. Our customers really benefit from that monthly meeting, as we’re always adding new lines that we know are the best quality. 24
Every month, myself, the farm shop manager and our buyer sit down and try about 100 different products that are new to the market. Our customers really benefit from that monthly meeting; we’re always adding new lines that we know are the best quality
1965 Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire 1982 First job at Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey Estate, North Yorkshire 1983 Finished Hotel, Hospitality and Catering college course at Citizen Guild Qualifications 1983 Chef in private kitchens at Chatsworth Estate 1984 Head chef at Chatsworth Farm Shop 2001 Head of Chatsworth Farm Shop
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
How important is it to have knowledgeable, skilled staff within a farm shop?
Ensuring our staff have the right skills is absolutely vital. We’re very careful when we interview perspective employees and have very specific criteria for our staff – we aim to employ the best of the best. Our butchers have combined experience of 200 years, which we’re really proud of. Our farm shop is all about having that knowledge and understanding of the job and of the food being produced. Everybody we employ goes through an induction, so they’re fully aware of their role and the working environment early on, and they always have a mentor to learn from. As part of our core values we have an inhouse trainer who works with the whole team to ensure they have the skills and confidence they need to perform their job to the best of their ability.
we’re hitting our targets – the team can see when they’ve done well and interact with us about how we can do even better.
How do you ensure your customers keep coming back?
It’s all about changing up your offering and being interactive. We keep an eye on trends and try to stay on top of any changes in how people shop – younger people, for example, aren’t as keen to chat to staff members like butchers about which products to buy or how they can be cooked. We’ve amended our butchery and deli offering to include prepackaged meat products in separate fridges from the counters, for people who don’t want to interact with staff, and would prefer to just pick up a product and pay for it. I think if a lot of our younger customers could text or email the butcher rather than approach them and ask for what they want, they would.
Do you find it easy to find and retain staff members?
Being in a rural location makes it quite tough to find the right skilled workers for the business. We do sometimes have to look further afield, and we’re lucky in that we have some well populated towns and villages around us, so we don’t often struggle. Every member of the team is engaged in the business, and we run transparently; all department takings are listed for everyone to see every week, which can serve as a real motivator for our staff. We compare each week’s takings with the same time period last year to see how we’re doing and whether
Further information www.chatsworth.org
sweet, creamy and artisan
Serve your customers a world champion cheese!
To offer Cornish Blue in your deli, farm shop, cafe or restaurant and to take advantage of our sample pack offer please call us on 01579 362 416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Donâ€™t forget our delicious Cornish Blue pates Pear & Walnut and Fig, available in 200g trays.
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The three best technologies your farm shop or deli shouldn’t be without, and how they operate
GO PAPERLESS ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (ECMS)
nterprise content management systems (ECMS) allow a farm shop or deli owner to access all of their business documents quickly and easily, from any location and at any time,” explains Ruban Rajasooriyar, managing director of DocTech. “That reduces the manual processes of a retailer significantly – rather than having a huge paper filing cabinet or a shared computer server, the management systems available today are all web-based, and can be accessed on anything from a mobile phone to an iPad. Any document that a business might create or need can be stored, from health and safety compliance forms to staff training documents and delivery receipts.” In terms of costs for an ECMS, retailers often have the choice of paying in monthly installments or as a one-off cost, with prices depending on business
size. Setup can be varied, with each system able to be customised. DocTech provides a consultancy approach for businesses investing in their document management systems, in which a retailer’s existing processes, as well as what they want to get out of the software, are analysed. “Some companies choose to only use document management for their accounts or deliveries, but then find the software so useful that they expand its uses to other parts of the business too,” says Ruban. “Delivery notes can be created on the system that can be signed for on an iPad as soon as the products are delivered, triggering an invoice to be
KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR SALES, CUSTOMERS AND DELIVERIES ELECTRONIC POINT OF SALE (EPOS)
created and sent out to the company. Before the delivery van has even left the site, the company has been invoiced.” So, in a nutshell, why is ECM worth investing in? “Ultimately, it’s the best filing cabinet you’re ever going to own,” says Ruban. “Once a document is put into the system it is safe and secure, easy to find, accessible from any location and able to be amended when necessary. You also don’t need to worry about losing any information if your retail outlet is in any way damaged – if, for example, there is a fire and your computers are destroyed, you know that all your documentation is entirely safe.”
3 TOP ECMS DocTech From simple file management to full workflow solutions. Ideal for those facing an ongoing battle with storing documents and information. www.doctech.co.uk Kefron Provides ECM solutions that help retailers improve how they find, share and manage data. www.kefron.com Systems Valley Team of experts will guide you through the project, ensuring you acquire the skills required to assume ownership when the project is completed. www.systemsvalley.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Streamline y mart ways to
PoS has advanced significantly as technology has evolved, explains Jo Bateman, commercial manager of Davidson Richards. “In the early days retailers had to have their own server for EPoS, they held their databases and software locally, and every update involved someone physically coming to the site to renew the system,” she says. “Since then, EPoS has become available in a cloud-type system, which has various benefits over its predecessor. The problem with an onpremise system, when the server with all your data is on-site, is that there are associated costs and disruptions for the retailer when that system requires updating. This isn’t an issue with the new cloudtype systems.” “EPoS takes all the information from a farm shop or deli’s sales and organises it so that owners
can review and control their costs, sales and stock,” says Jo. “Most retailers can tell you their bestselling stock off the top of their head, but they may not be able to tell you their slower lines, or what they’re sitting on in terms of stock, and they won’t know if they’ve just sold the last of a certain product until they physically go and check. That’s where EPoS comes in.” Getting started with EPoS, though initially time-consuming, is a simple, one-off process. “With an EPoS system, a retailer will upload their products and categories onto the system, along with their minimum stock levels, what the bar code is, a description of the product and the price,” Jo explains. “That only needs to be done once. After that, whenever a bar code is scanned at the till it instantly is recorded and marks down stock. A retailer can look on the system and see in real time exactly how much stock they have for any product or range. From that, they can tell what’s popular, what they need to re order and what isn’t selling, 24 hours a day and from any location” This intelligence can be invaluable to a fine food retailer, as it gives the owner and their team the information they need
e your business
MAKE YOUR BACK OFFICE OPERATIONS MORE EFFICIENT ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS (ERPS)
to decide what to buy, what to focus on selling and what may require promotion to shift stock. Another benefit of EPoS is its ability to build on customer loyalty. “EPoS can store information about your customers’
shopping habits, or issue points per sale with a loyalty scheme,” Jo tells us. “It can also be tailored to incorporate promotions, bouncebacks and web stores, to ensure everything is in that one system for the retailer.”
3 TOP EPOS EPoS Now Popular start-up EPoS supplier focused on integrated systems. Pre-packaged deals for retailers. www.eposnow.com Davidson Richards All the features and flexibility of a corporate level retail management solution at a significantly lower total cost of ownership, using a cloud based delivery. www.davrich.co.uk intelligentpos Revolutionising the way small businesses view EPoS, supports mobile ordering, has an intuitive iPhone app and powerful back office reporting. www.intelligentpos.com/uk
nterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms offer an ideal solution for farm shops and delis looking to streamline their backoffice operations, says Natalie Bruins, head of marketing at K3 Retail. “ERP software packages tie together business processes, and enable the flow of data between them. Functionally rich, ERP software can run the entire back end of your business – it can manage sales, operations, finances, HR and customer services.” Within the ERP platform, retailers benefit from the application of a Business Intelligence Layer, which threads directly into its EPoS, Natalie explains. “Business Intelligence helps to drive efficiency in a retailer’s processes, improving decision making and allowing a farm shop or deli owner to pinpoint which products should be stocked, when,
and where. With data feeding through the back end of your business straight to the PoS at the front, you’re able to achieve a more complete view of your customers – what they buy and when, how they shop and how much they spend. This is gold dust for a growing retailer.” Within ERP, Natalie advises retailers to use Microsoft Dynamics 365. “As an extendable ERP platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables a retailer to run a smoother, faster, better business. A lot of retailers start small and find that they grow faster than expected. A large portion of the business will be run on spreadsheets, which will
be contained on a basic finance system to help manage pricing, stock, distribution and costs. Within Dynamics 365 is a business module that brings together all these financial elements into one cloud-based system, which can be accessed at any time and by anybody who has permission to do so. A retailer looking to run more efficiently and expand their business should look for a solution that has intelligent business applications across CRM and ERP. Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives you choice. Start with just what you need to run your business – and delight your customers. Then, add apps as you need to change or grow.”
3 TOP ERPS K3 Retail Technology specialists for Microsoft Dynamics 365 which includes ERP and CRM supporting 800+ national and international retail brands. www.k3retail.com/en/ Software Advisory Service Offers independent, expert ERP buying advice. Helps to shortlist and appoint the best partners. www.softwareadvisoryservice.com Aqxolt Automates business processes, improves efficiency and drives growth. Ideal for businesses with complex processes or plans for growth. www.aqxolt.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Festive flyers Fine food distributors predict what will be selling like hot cakes come Christmas
Paul Hargreaves started the company from a cellar in London in 1999. Since then, Cotswold Fayre has gone from strength to strength, helped by the increasing demand for speciality food. Festive favourites Sorini – This Italian brand makes great chocolate at an even better price point,
Huffman’s was formed when two pals from school saw a gap in the market for highlighting Scotland’s food and drink. It provides an honest and efficient service and also offers its services in-store with tasting and showcasing events. Festive favourites Ogilvy Scottish potato vodka – With the increasing number of gins on the market, it is refreshing to have a fantastic Scottish vodka on the doorstep. A great addition to any Christmas household, either as a gift or for a festive party. Highland Crackers – Made by hand in Inverness by Donna Peacock, Highland Crackers are a must28
Categories Ambient: Drinks, snacks, baked, confectionery, grocery and storecupboard.
have on any Christmas cheeseboard. Made using Scottish ingredients, Highland Crackers come in Original, Chilli and Free From Gluten varieties. Categories Spirits, craft beer, soft drinks, condiments, confectionery and snacks. Distribution Huffman’s distributes mainly in Scotland, but has had enquiries and sales as far south as London. Contact: email@example.com; www.huffmans.co.uk
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
from nets of foiled chocolates to classic tins of individually wrapped hazelnut and cream chocolate balls. Jenny Wren – Fairtrade Belgian chocolate gift boxes with unique packaging design, making them the perfect gift.
Epicurium is a distributor and wholesaler specialising in providing exciting, innovative food and drink to the independent retail trade and foodservice outlets across the UK. It started in 2010, distributing a handful of products from small North East producers, and its growing range now includes products from some of the most exciting new brands from the UK and beyond. Its aim is to discover foods that are exciting and ethically made, and to offer its customers a real point of difference. As an
Chilled: Drinks, dairy, dessert, dips, sauces, soup, fresh pasta and deli-meat-fish products. Seasonal: Cotswold Fayre also covers the above categories in its spring and Christmas ranges. Distribution Ambient: UK, Ireland and export. Chilled: Mainland UK. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cotswold-fayre.co.uk
independent specialist wholesaler, Epicurium strives to understand the needs of its customers and make dealing with them as simple and straightforward as they possibly can. Festive favourites Yushoi baked pea snacks and Hippeas organic chickpea puffs Both are fantastic snacks for parties – they taste great and are far healthier than traditional crisps. Categories Premium and on-trend impulse snacks, RTD drinks, confectionery and for-now meal solutions. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: email@example.com; www.epicurium.co.uk www.farmanddeliretail.com
Blakemore Fine Foods
Previously known as Heart Distribution, Blakemore Fine Foods was set up 10 years ago. It works with over 280 food and drink producers, and has many initiatives that support producers through growth. Blakemore Fine Foods works closely with customers, brands and producers, ensuring a high level of communication. Festive favourites Belvoir Mulled Winter Punch – Handmade with elderberry, blackcurrant and orange juices, blended with spices. This drink makes an ideal non-
Empire Bespoke Foods
Bespoke Foods and Empire Food Brokers merged in 2014 to combine their knowledge of the UK’s grocery and speciality food sector. The company has over 50 years of expertise in sourcing products from the USA, Europe and Asia. Festive favourites DIY Gingerbread House kit – This kit is fun for all the family, with eyecatching packaging that features animal characters, and is made using a traditional recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Chiostro Di Saronno Bollicine Panettone – This panettone is flavoured with bollicine, an Italian sparkling wine drunk at Christmas, and is produced to the traditional recipe through a slow and natural leavening process.
Michael Lee Fine Cheeses
Categories World foods, sweet and savoury snacking, barbecue sauces and condiments, store cupboard, chocolate and confectionery, spreads and baking, drinks and Christmas.
After working for supermarkets, running market stalls, and owning his own delicatessen, Yorkshire-born Michael Lee decided to transfer his expertise into sourcing and supplying artisan cheeses. Michael Lee Fine Cheeses is Yorkshire’s leading wholesaler of cheese, deli products and catering necessities, and now supplies some of the finest restaurants, delicatessens and farm shops in the UK.
Distribution Nationwide. Contact: sales@empire bespokefoods.com; www. empirebespokefoods.com
Festive favourites Char Coal Cheddar – Exclusive to Fine Cheeses, this is the first all-black
alcoholic winter punch, or mixes well with red wine as a quick alternative to traditional mulled wine. Choconchoc Chocolate Prosecco & Strawberries – A unique chocolate gift, made in Britain from Belgian chocolate. Each item has been lovingly handmade in a Somerset factory from the finest ingredients. Categories Bakery, snacks, dairy and eggs, meat, chilled foods, grocery, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Distribution Mainland UK. Contact: afb@ afblakemore.com; www.afblakemore.com
curded charcoal cheddar in the world. A creamy, mature cheddar blended with sterilised charcoal to create a unique cheese. Wensleydale Creamery Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries – A creamy white Yorkshire cheese carefully combined with the fruity succulence of pure, sweet cranberries. Categories Fine cheese, deli products, desserts, charcuterie, other dairy, catering necessities. Distribution Nationwide (some via courier, some via company vans). Contact: info@ finecheesesltd.co.uk; www.finecheesesltd.co.uk Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Guidetti Fine Food and Wine
Guidetti Fine Food and Wine was founded in 1989, selling balsamic vinegar, olive oil and parmesan cheese from a stall on London’s Borough Market. Today it is still a family business, importing and distributing artisan Italian food and wine. It currently supplies some of the leading restaurants, farm shops and delis in the UK. Festive favourites Loison Panettone – The market is awash with poor panettone, so it’s important to keep standards high during the seasonal period. Loison tins are a winner every
ScandiKitchen Deli and Café opened its doors in London’s Fitzrovia in 2007. The brainchild of husband and wife team Jonas and Bronte Aurell, ScandiKitchen was set up to combat homesickness among the Scandinavian expat community, while providing Londoners with a taste of the best everyday food from the Nordic region. Over the past decade, ScandiKitchen has expanded into wholesale 30
Buckley & Beale
year, as they not only house a great cake, but also look fantastic. Antonio Mattei Cantuccini – Made by one of Italy’s oldest biscuit companies in the small town of Prato, Tuscany. Guidetti stocks both Chocolate and Almond, and will have Pistachio from September 2017. Categories Products in all ambient categories, including alcohol. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: info@guidetti. co.uk; www.guidetti.co.uk
and distribution, and grown to become one of UK’s leading distributors of food from Scandinavia. Festive favourites Saturnus Glögg – The classic version, made from red wine with warming spices, is Christmas in a bottle. Best served piping hot, it is more similar to German glühwein than British mulled wine. Annas Original Pepparkakor – ScandiKitchen’s bestselling ginger snaps. Very moreish, and able to
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Adrian Beale and Noreen Finnamore founded Buckley & Beale in January 2011, having previously owned a retail store that sold speciality American food and accessories. They set up the wholesale company following requests from other retailers who liked what they were doing. The business now offers products from over 80 producers.
be served on their own or with a nice Stilton as a savoury canapé. They come in a beautiful red tin, which makes them perfect for gifting. Categories Specialises in crispbread and biscuits, jams and pickles, mustards, relishes and slaws, confectionary and ‘glögg’ Scandinavian style mulled wine. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: shop@ scandikitchen.co.uk; www.scandikitchen.co.uk
Festive favourites Aspen Mulling Cider Spices – A perfect size for hampers or stocking fillers, and easy to merchandise near a till point to attract impulse buyers. Buckley & Beale also provides samples, so you can try it yourself and hand out samples. The Lismore Food Company biscuits – The beautiful packaging makes these biscuits a really nice gift, and a thoughtful alternative to a bottle of wine for non-drinkers. Categories Ambient categories such as teas, coffees, jams, chutneys, biscuits, crackers etc. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: 01454 219445; www.buckleyand beale.com www.farmanddeliretail.com
Delicioso was founded in 2004 by Jose Luis Alvarez Bernal and Kate Shirley-Quirk, who found that there was a lack of good quality Spanish food available in the UK. Since then, Delicioso has sought to work with artisan producers whose methods and recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Its suppliers pride themselves on their exquisite products, often with a unique, modern twist. Delicioso is proud to carry authentic Spanish products, carefully picked and beautifully packaged. Festive favourites Vira Chocolate Fig Bonbons – Baby figs
Suma is a vegetarian wholesaler that has been trading since 1977. It began selling grains and pulses from 25kg sacks at a small location in Leeds – quite a difference from its current situation in Elland, where it stocks over 7,000 products and distributes them throughout the UK and beyond. Suma is a worker cooperative, which means that all workers receive equal pay, and all members have an equal vote when it comes to decision making. www.farmanddeliretail.com
Hider Food Imports Ltd
injected with brandy and dipped in dark chocolate. A great Christmas gift. Azada flavoured oils – A set of five flavoured oils in a gift box, comprising chilli, basil, garlic, lemon and orange flavours. Perfect as a stocking filler. Categories High quality Spanish food, drink and gifts. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: info@delicioso. co.uk; www.delicioso.co.uk Festive favourites Suma Savoury Nut Roast – Also available in gluten-free, this is a must, and the base of many a festive meal. Go Vegan spelt panettone – Lovely to eat by itself, or turned into a baked pudding. Categories Vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-free and Fairtrade products, eco cleaning products and natural body care. Distribution Nationwide. Contact: newbusiness @suma.coop; www.suma.coop
Hider unloaded its first container of nuts and dried fruits on Hull quayside in 1965 and opened for business in Hull Old Town. Now the company operates from a 100,000ft² premises, and has earned a reputation as one of the leading suppliers of products to the deli, farm shop and garden centre sectors. Festive favourites Hazer Baba Turkish Delight – Hider’s very first Christmas brochure included no more than a dozen varieties of these wonderful confectionery delicacies, but fast forward to 2017 and you’ll find over 60 variations of flavour, pack size and price points – transport yourself back to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. Marabissi Panforte Margherita – Marabissi produces traditional Italian biscuits and cakes, including Cantucci, Amaretti and Panforte. Categories Ambient fine foods covering all product categories, including a wide range of seasonal food gifts. Distribution UK and Republic of Ireland. Contact: mail@ hiderfoods.co.uk; www.hiderfoods.co.uk
Established over 100 years ago by Mr Auguste Noel, a French businessman with a fondness for French cuisine – in particular, fine cheese. It was in the Fifties that Auguste Noel became a major player in the supply of continental cheese across the UK. Today Auguste Noel is a second generation family business, operating in wholesale/import and distribution, and providing a reliable service to delicatessens, farm shops and village stores. Festive favourites Kuchenmeister Luxury Marzipan Stollen – Kuchenmeister creates delicious and competitively priced cakes, and its stollen has always been a favourite with Auguste Noel customers during the festive season. Lambertz – Founded in 1688, Lambertz is the oldest sweets brand in Germany. Auguste Noel will be offering a range of its luxury biscuits at a competitive price. Categories Ambient grocery and fine foods. Distribution London, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Hampshire in own vehicles. Rest of UK pallets only. Contact: sales@ augustenoel.co.uk; www.augustenoel.co.uk
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
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A play area Adding a childrens’ play area to your premises is a great way to turn your business into a real destination for family days out – as long as it’s properly thought out and committed to
play area makes your business more than somewhere people nip into, and encourages customers to stay for longer, spending more time and probably more money with you. Families with young children often avoid shopping because it’s hard to keep little ones entertained, but with a play area there’s something to keep them busy while the grown-ups enjoy your offering. “Farm shops are increasingly looking for ways to create more dwell time, and a play area is one of the best ways to improve your chances of
transforming your shop into a destination,” says Jason Devenish from Greenspan Projects, a business that offers comprehensive design and build services for compliant indoor and outdoor play areas.
increasingly searching for something more themed or rustic-looking to fit in with what they already have, as well as to differentiate themselves from the more traditional soft play centres.”
opportunities for extra income, but if your customer demographic is varied it may be best to keep the two aspects separate in order to avoid complaints and keep everyone happy.
Create something unique
Inside or outside?
There are benefits to having both an indoor and outdoor play area. In the summer months and on clear days an outdoor play area is sure to attract customers, while an indoor play area is somewhere dry to take children on rainy days. Having an indoor play area with a food and beverage offering opens up a wealth of
Cost and maintenance
A bespoke play area adds something different and will further encourage visitors to use it. Have something tailor made to fit your space and the facilities you offer – this will complement your current theme and ensure it’s a great addition, rather than just a ‘bolt on’. Jason says: “Farm shops are
The price of a play area can vary from anywhere between £40,000 to £200,000, depending on the size and complexity. After this initial cost, however, they are very low maintenance.
Further information www.greenspanltd.com
PLAY IT SAFE The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has five top health and safety tips…
Put the playground in the right place
Buy good quality equipment, with as much play value as you can afford
Don’t forget the whole play space
Get post-installation and annual inspections
Inspect the playground regularly for any obvious signs of damage or missing parts
Don’t necessarily put it in the only space that’s left. Bear in mind nearby hazards, such as water, roads or car parks.
The better the quality and play value, the less likely children are to misuse the equipment or the rest of the site. Don’t be tempted by cheap domestic playground equipment, as it’s not designed for heavy use.
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Design and layout, and ancillary items such as fences, gates, seats and bins, are as much a part of the playground as the play equipment; they can give rise to accidents if not properly sourced, installed and maintained.
Have a professional playground inspector undertake a postinstallation inspection on the new playground to check for compliance with standards and installation faults. Annual inspections will help to identify long term levels of safety.
Keep a record of your routine inspections and take remedial action where identified.
Further information www.rospa.com
What I’ve learned SARAH THOMPSON
The Lakeside Farm Shop & Country Café tells us how adding a play area has benefitted the business Why did you decide to add a play area at Lakeside Farm Shop & Country Café?
We added an outdoor play area to encourage families to visit when we opened in 2006, and since then we’ve added to it. Our main customers haven’t turned out to be families with children but the elderly who bring their grandchildren. We’ve got lots of parking and you can see the play area from inside the farm shop café.
Has the addition been worthwhile?
It was expensive when we had it built, but the investment has been worthwhile. We have families who come and spend the whole day here – they might all have lunch, and then the adults
will sit and have a coffee and a cake or biscuit while the children are playing.
area in the winter, but obviously not as many as on a sunny day.
Would you consider an indoor play area for the winter months?
What would be your advice to farm shops considering adding a play area?
We’d consider creating an indoor play area in the future – it’s just a case of finding the correct space. We do have people who use our play
THE CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND COMPANY LTD
THREE NATURAL PLAY COMPANIES
I’d recommend adding a play area to any farm shop. I think the most important thing to consider is having a
separate area for toddlers. They can get injured easily if they’re around older children, especially as we have a football area. Having the separate sections has worked really well for us. I’d also advise shops do something different with the space – we have a lake right next to ours, so we had it built like a ship.
Based in the woods of Dartington, Devon, Earth Wrights has over 25 years’ experience working with the likes of the National Trust and the Eden Project. Most of the team are themselves parents, committed to giving kids great play spaces. Where: Woodlands Yard, Dartington, Devon, TQ9 6NS; 01803 865919; www.earthwrights.co.uk
Infinite Playgrounds creates exciting, visionary play spaces in keeping with its core environmental principles. Everything is handmade, which means designs can be tailored to maximise the potential of your space and meet budget demands. Where: Unit 7E, Westmorland Road, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE29 8TB; 0191 2666508; www.infiniteplaygrounds.co.uk
Founded in 2001, CPCL designs, manufactures and supplies high quality Robinia wood playgrounds throughout the UK and Ireland, focusing on creating imaginative and challenging equipment for children of all abilities. Where: 1 George Street, Snow Hill, Wolverhampton, WV2 4DG; 01902 422515; www.thechildrensplayground.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD FAIR
Speciality & Fine Food Fair Now in its 17th year, the Speciality & Fine Food Fair will exhibit more than 700 food and drink producers from the UK and beyond, including nearly 200 suppliers who will be making their debut
s the UK’s leading fine food and drink trade showcase, organiser Fresh Montgomery has given this year’s fair a new look, with the addition of Savour the Flavour: Live Kitchen, and Food for Thought and Scale Up business workshops. The Speciality Chocolate Fair has merged with the main show this year, and will present its new Chocolate Trail in keeping with the fair’s ‘Aladdin’s cave’ discovery experience. It will give visitors an exclusive opportunity for discovery and inspiration, leading to more than 50 fine and artisan chocolate producers as it twists through Olympia London.
In addition to this, there will be a ‘Discovery Zone’ to showcase innovative products from exciting new businesses that are launching in the UK market. The Speciality & Fine Food Fair will also be welcoming new companies, such as
Teatime, Spice Kitchen, Great British Biscotti Company and Ouse Valley Foods. The show opens on 3 September, when it will run from 10am-5.30pm; it will then be open from 9.30am-5pm on 4 and 5 September.
GREAT TASTE AWARDS The Great Taste Awards are back. Last year the Speciality & Fine Food Fair showcased 50 finalists, announcing the overall winners on the second night of the event. Award-winning products see their sales dramatically increase; visitors to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair can be the first to find out who wins and directly source the products for their business. In 2016, Delicioso UK, Bramley and Gage, Dark Woods Coffee, Thursday Cottage and Coconut Merchant each won three stars in the Great Taste Awards. Great Taste judges texture, appearance, quality of ingredients and how the producer has put the product together – but, of course, the most important aspect is the taste. 34
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SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD FAIR
HOW TO GET THERE
For this year’s event, a Speciality Chocolate Trail has been put together to showcase the UK’s finest luxury and gourmet chocolate. Whether it’s new flavours, certified chocolate or premium indulgence, the Speciality Chocolate Trail is sure
to help traders discover lucrative new products. Producers include Amelia Rope Chocolate, Bean & Pod, Beech’s Fine Chocolates, Chief Chocolate Officer, Choctails, Chocolate Madagascar, J Cocoa, Lauden Chocolate, Ottar Chocolate and Raw Halo.
“What struck me was the number of really interesting, delicious, well-thought-out young foodie start-ups, who were a joy to meet and a real testament to how exciting our industry has become,” said Fortnum & Mason grocery buyer Sam Rosen-Nash.
Conveniently located in the heart of the capital, Olympia London is surrounded by cultural attractions, parks, bars and restaurants, and has plenty of places to stay. Road: Central London can be reached easily from the M1, M4, M40 and M25. There is limited parking at the venue. Rail: Olympia London is a five-minute walk from Kensington (Olympia) Station, which can be reached on the London Overground line. Alternatively, it is a 13-minute walk from Hammersmith tube station, which can be reached on the District and Piccadilly lines. The tube lines run frequently.
Whether it’s new flavours, certified chocolate or premium indulgence, the Speciality Chocolate Trail is sure to help traders discover lucrative new products
Air: It takes approximately 30 minutes to travel by train from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria, where you can catch a connecting tube to Kensington (Olympia) Station. Alternatively, it is approximately a one-hour drive. From Heathrow, Kensington (Olympia) Station can be reached by tube on the Piccadilly line, or it is approximately a 30-minute drive.
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Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
“At last! A non-alcoholic drink that tastes sensational” The Sunday Telegraph Recommended in
Dr Hilary Jones – Live to 100
Replaces nutrients that alcohol depletes
The doubly-good, deliciously dry drink your customers have been waiting for!
Botonique.com Why will your customers thank you for stocking Botonique? See our interview with Botonique’s creator Hilary Marsh, on farmanddeli.com Genius_Jul/Aug.indd 1
www.wildatheartfoods.co.uk Untitled-5 1
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Food&Drink CHRISTMAS DRINK
The Food People p40
Christmas spirits p41
Independent Spirit of Bath p42
Tails Cocktails p43
Christmas drink special
Preparing for the Christmas season always comes early, and this year industry experts are predicting a continued interest in British brands, along with hot Christmas cocktails and seasonal flavours. Our drinks special remains typically boozy, with a guide to craft spirits from Independent Spirit of Bath and trend predictions from The Food People www.farmanddeliretail.com
Farm & Deli Retail â€˘ July/August 2017
Tapping into trends
THE SPIRITS OF CHRISTMAS
The Food People’s Olivia Edwards explains how the drinks market changes at Christmas, and talks through this year’s festive trends and the huge opportunities they bring
Season of indulgence
The drinks market is very different over Christmas compared to the rest of the year, as the festive flavours start coming through. Consumers start looking for the classic Christmas drinks, such as Baileys, mulled wine and alcoholic hot chocolates. Calories and cost fall by the wayside for many at Christmas, as the festive period brings a tendency for people to indulge and treat not just themselves, but also their friends and family. That’s a huge opportunity here for farm shops and delis – customers will be looking for gift ideas. Novelty or beautifully packaged drink products are very popular as Christmas gifts, so stock up on several and market them appropriately.
Trends: then and now
The English wine industry saw huge growth last year. Consumers increasingly want to support local producers, which is a trend that we expect to keep growing throughout the year – particularly at Christmas. Hot drinks are always a lot more prevalent 38
over Christmas, but last year we saw a big rise in hot cocktails containing ingredients such as mulled vodkas and gins, which were a really interesting new category to come onto the market. There was also a massive expansion of non-alcoholic Christmas drinks last year, catering for a growing customer base of people who don’t drink alcohol but still want that indulgent experience of festive flavour. We expect the non-alcoholic drinks category to expand even more, and that more people will be buying drinks that are alcohol-free or contain very low percentages. We’re expecting British brand drinks to remain very strong this Christmas, as well as the festive classics that customers will always go for. I think we’ll be seeing twists on classic Christmas drinks, similar to the mulled spirits and hot cocktails last year, which will continue to be popular. Drinks companies are becoming a lot more adventurous, branching out into weird and wonderful flavours that are perfect for the
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Christmas season, when customers are more likely to spend more and try something different.
Get your Christmas customers spending
Tastings are a great way to get your customers to try something new, from in-shop tasters to evening events. Another idea for a Christmas event could be a ‘Mull Your Own Spirit’ workshop; customers could purchase the alcohol and ingredients from your shop and learn how to make mulled rum, gin or vodka. Little labels on drinks products can be really effective, and you can get creative with them anything from ‘Great for the office party’ or ‘For him/her’ to ‘Excellent with this cheese’ or ‘Perfect for a Christmas punch’. These labels can help your customers select a product for an occasion or particular use, and promote link sales to other products in store. People like to know about products and their provenance, so attaching a short story about the producer or how the drink is made can really make a product stand out.
Company: Perry’s Farmhouse Cider Launching: September 2017 Part of Perry’s seasonal range, produced in limited batches throughout the autumn and winter months. The result is an aromatic cider spiced with a blend of mulling spices, perfect as a ‘winter warmer’. Perry’s Christmas flagons are also available as a Farmhouse cider, with ‘Puffin’, ‘Barn Own’ and ‘Grey Heron’ available in 500ml bottles. RRP £7.99 for 1L 6% abv firstname.lastname@example.org
Cranberry and Blood Orange Liqueur Company: Cranes Launched: April 2016 Handmade in Cambridgeshire, using cranberries from Wisconsin, USA, plus blood orange juice and orange rind; more than 160 cranberries go into each 70cl bottle. Made by twin brothers Ben and Dan, who started by fermenting cranberry cider in 5L demijohns after graduating from university. RRP £15 for 35cl 20% abv email@example.com
Company: Perfect Pour Launched: August 2016 Tasting similar to a mojito, The Ogilvy Orchard works well when mixed with lemonade. The rest of the cocktail range includes Milton Mule and Cottarhouse Cooler. There is no added sugar, with the cocktail mix suggested 50ml poured over ice and topped up with mixers such as tonic, lemonade, soda, ginger beer and prosecco. RRP £20 for 500ml 20% abv firstname.lastname@example.org
DRINK STATS Diversity has become increasingly important for consumers, who can no longer be pigeonholed as just beer, wine or cocktail drinkers. People now consume across an average of four drinks categories...
28% Company: Northumberland Honey Co. Launched: November 2016 A dry alternative to Champagne and Prosecco, low in sugar with no added tannins. Made from fermenting Northumberland Wildflower Honey and Northumberland spring water, with bubbles coming from the champagne method of bottle fermentation. The first drink of its kind in the UK, with all ingredients and production deriving from Northumberland Honey Co. RRP £26.99 for 75cl 11.5% abv lukeandsuzie@ northumberlandhoney. co.uk
6 O’clock Gin
Company: Bramley and Gage Launched: 2010 A pronounced juniper flavour balanced with a selection of botanicals, including coriander, orange peel and elderflower. Bramley and Gage’s flagship gin and its bestseller over the Christmas period, it is also available in a Brunel Edition and Sloe Gin. RRP £35 for 70cl 43% abv sales@bramley andgage.com
Persian Lime & Nori Seaweed Margarita with Ocho Tequila and Agave Syrup
Company: Edinburgh Gin Launched: November 2015 Infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, frankincense and myrhh, and designed to be a distillation of Edinburgh’s Christmas spirit. A limited edition, small-batch London Drystyle gin to sip or mix with tonic – preferably with an orange garnish. RRP £35 for 70cl 43% abv email@example.com
Company: Spirit of Zing Rebranded: July 2017 Mixed with dried Persian lime macerate to provide musky and lively sherbet-like citrus notes, before a short infusion of Japanese nori seaweed. Founder Pritesh Mody spent 10 years working in the drinks industry before starting her mixology lab in South London. Before being bottled, the cocktail is rested for around seven days to ensure the ingredients have infused. RRP £25 for 500ml 24% abv firstname.lastname@example.org
Company: To Øl Rebrewing: August 2017 A rich dark ale with orange peel and cardamom, plus a touch of smoked malt that is reminiscent of roasting chestnuts. Nomadic brewers To Øl have a bar in Copenhagen, BRUS, but lack their own brewery; instead they move around between other breweries that have spare capacity. This black IPA is a seasonal beer, and will be rebrewed for the Christmas period in August. RRP £3.99 for 33cl 8% abv email@example.com
Of beer drinkers drink craft beer exclusively
New beers and ciders were launched last year
Of industry leaders back microdistillery spirits to trend in 2017
New spirit brands entered the market in 2016, with a 16.8% growth in superpremium and craft spirits
More outlets stocked cocktails in 2016 than in 2015, with interest predicted for skinny and non-alcoholic options Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Source: CGA Peach – Ten Drinks Trends to Track in 2017 Report
Building up your range Christian Morrish, co-owner of specialist drinks retailer Independent Spirit of Bath, discusses putting together a range of specialist spirits
What is your background in specialist spirits? Myself and my business partner Chris both worked in cocktail bars, and Chris used to work in the whisky industry as well; our manager Laura also has a background in the bar industry. We realised that there wasn’t anywhere you could buy the spirits that we’d used while working in bars. Independent Spirit sells a range of craft spirits, specialising in gin and whisky, but we also have rum and other spirits as well. We also have over 400 beers on sale, and a small but well-formed selection of wine. How would you suggest farm shops and delis start out researching small, independent spirit companies? Start small and local. Speak to someone who knows the industry, and keep an eye on growing trends. Buy local spirits – they’re often of high 40
quality and always sell well. We research which spirits we want to sell by going into the bars that we used to work in and sampling them. You have to put the research in, whether that means going online, contacting people, or just getting out there and trying it. See what sells – if something doesn’t sell, try something else, until you build up a range that you’re happy with. What do you think the big difference is between the small independent distillers and the larger consumer ones that would sell to supermarkets? In big companies, there are too many conflicts of interest. The distiller wants to go one way, marketing wants to go another, accounts wants to stay on budget and someone else is above all of that pulling the strings. A lot of the time in smaller set-ups, the owner is also the head distiller, and won’t have to answer to anyone else. It’s also a lot easier to be a bit experimental on a small kit. The smaller businesses build up much more of a relationship with their customers. We work with Bath Botanicals, which is 15 minutes away from our shop. When the owner and distiller Sue Mullett
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
makes a delivery, she’ll cycle over and stop for a chat, which you don’t get with the bigger brands. What will be the next big thing in the industry? Gin is massive at the moment – there seems to be a new gin coming out every week. I think tequila and mezcal will be big as well. Tequila has a bad reputation because it’s commonly consumed as a shot in the pub, but a good quality sipping tequila is as complex as a fine whisky. What can retailers do to maximize their sales of spirits? We predominantly use social media. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide a free form of advertising, and allow us to contact customers directly – and for them to contact us in return. More often than not, social media use isn’t actually about trying to sell a product. Getting involved and talking to people online shows that we’re not just a shop front – we’re actually people, too.
Further information Independent Spirit of Bath www.independentspirit ofbath.co.uk
CHRISTIAN’S SPIRIT SELECTION
Company: Bath Botanical Gin Launched: December 2016 No1 Gin contains nine botanicals, including Somerset lime flowers. The gin itself has liquorice and juniper at the forefront with gentle citrus notes. RRP £14 25cl firstname.lastname@example.org
PG Sips Pink Grapefruit & Raspberry Vodka
Company: Espensen Spirit Launched: September 2017 Based in Bristol, Espensen creates flavoured spirits that are fantastic on their own or in cocktails; PG Sips is my favourite. RRP £26.50 50cl email@example.com
Company: Dark Matter Launched: May 2015 Made in Scotland, and as far as I’m aware the only rum being made from scratch in the UK – the base sugar is sourced in the UK as well. A warming spiced rum, with a chewy ginger finish that goes on for days. RRP £35 firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Cow Vodka
Company: Black Cow Launched: 2012 Produced in Dorset, this vodka is made from milk, giving it an incredible richness while retaining the clean finish of a premium vodka. RRP £31.75 email@example.com
While We Wait Whisky
Company: Raasay and Borders Launched: February 2017 So new the distillery hasn’t been built yet, While We Wait is a small taster of what is to come. RRP £56.95 firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the supplier
Tails Cocktails Last December, Tails was named Grand Master of Pre-mixed Cocktails at the Spirits Business Awards; we talk mixology and marketing with founder Nick Wall we work out what’s available to be sourced, and what’s going to work out in a complete recipe. We do these processes over and over again until we feel like we have the perfect mix.
How did Tails start out? It dates back to the late Noughties. I was travelling a lot through vocation and became inspired by the emerging global cocktail trend. One of my first ever cocktails was a cosmopolitan in Hong Kong. I remember being wowed by the experience, and realised that there was limited access to cocktails in the UK. It was apparent to me that, both in bars and at home, there was a real lack of high quality cocktails that were easy to make, affordable, and that contained sophisticated, complex and premium ingredients. From there I started working with mixologists, barmen, distillers, flavour experts, and even scientists and chefs. www.farmanddeliretail.com
Did you get any formal education in mixology? I’ve done an international advanced bartending course, but the real passion for me lies in the ingredients and recipe of cocktails. I’m a big foodie as well, so it’s the combination of the ingredients and the recipes. I think that’s where the passion lies for me. I would say it’s more about the process of understanding what works when it comes to the ingredients. How do you source your ingredients? We look at cocktail trends, and break the cocktails down into ingredients – everything from the base spirit to the liquors to the juices, bitters and mixers. Then
What inspired you to sell premade cocktails rather than individual products? We wanted to offer cocktails that tasted and looked authentic but could be served in a fraction of the time. It wasn’t just about speed, it was about genuinely consistent results. That’s the hardest thing when you try to make cocktails over and over again – actually providing a level of consistency. Are the cocktails designed to be served in bars or to be consumed at home? As a business we do both. We tend to work in trade with a lot of customers who really struggle with the training, cost and speed of cocktails. Our products are the perfect solution for customers that have hundreds of sites and want to serve cocktails. Similarly, cocktails can have quite complex ingredients, and getting that perfect balance is what it’s all about. At home this can be very challenging, and you need someone who has done it professionally, mixing like we do.
What kind of brief did you give the designers for the packaging? We wanted the design of Tails to primarily appeal to people in the trade; we felt that if the people who were working behind bars, restaurants and hotels were actually using Tails, people would connect with the authenticity and craft of the cocktails. We think that if the guys behind the bar love the design and the product and feel that they’re using a quality cocktail brand, it will filter through to the retail world.
How would you recommend farm shops and delis display the bottles? Visibility is key, as well as sitting it with relevant garnishes such as limes, lemons, mint, or putting it with glasswork and shakers. Even the word ‘cocktails’ seems to act like a magnet for consumers. I think that there are real opportunities around lifestyle and occasion – for example, Tails cocktails can be tied into barbecues and alfresco dining during the warmer months, or marketed as party essentials and gift ideas during the Christmas period.
Further information Tails Cocktails www.tailscocktails.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
NEXT BIG THING
Next big thing...
Tea People Horrified by the poor conditions of schools in Darjeeling, Neeraj and Vishaka Agarwal started Tea People, a company with charity at its heart. They spoke to us about setting up, making a difference, and their new turmeric tea
he story of Tea People goes back to 2009, when Neeraj and Vishaka Agarwal were living and working in London. The couple had been speaking to a friend who was volunteering at a school in their home town of Darjeeling. She told them about the school’s leaking roof, its dire need of a toilet, which was affecting the pupil’s attendance, and its allround bad state. On a trip back to Darjeeling, Neeraj and Vishaka decided to go to the school to see what they could do to help. 42
They met the teachers there and assessed the situation, which was worse than they had previously thought. “There were just five teachers sharing four teacher’s salaries, and they spent the little they had spare on the children,” Neeraj tells us. “A lot of the children were coming into school without any food, proper clothes or uniform, so the teachers would spend their own money on the kids while they were trying to keep the school going. They didn’t have much funding from the government, besides their salary.”
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Neeraj and Vishaka gave the school around £1,000 to help out, but quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be nearly enough. “Nobody had given them that kind of support in the past, so they didn’t want to ask for too much and be turned down,” says Neeraj. “We returned to London and decided to raise money for the school through our own network, talking to friends and other people we knew. Through various efforts and activities we managed to raise around £10,500.”
Rather than giving the money they raised directly to the school, they partnered with the Rotary Club in Darjeeling, which Neeraj had previously been a member of. The Rotary Club connected the school to government initiatives, adding value to the project. Birth of a business Vishaka and Neeraj found that the school was not isolated in its impoverished situation. “We realised that fundraising couldn’t be a long term solution,” Neeraj says. “We could
NEXT BIG THING
The antibiotic and healing properties of turmeric have been known to Indians since ancient times. When we were children, our mothers would give us turmeric in milk whenever we got hurt
go to our network of contacts once or twice, but if we went to them again and again they would eventually just turn us away.” They started to think of ways to make their venture sustainable in the long term. “We came up with the idea of getting tea from them, because the school was located right in the middle of a tea growing area in the heart of Darjeeling,” Neeraj tells us. “The schools that we want to support are in the tea growing part of the world and we live in the tea drinking part of the world, so we thought, why don’t we match the two? We could source tea from Darjeeling, sell it in the UK, and use the money we raise to support more schools and more projects. We never thought we would be doing it full time, though – we always thought it would run alongside our regular jobs.” www.farmanddeliretail.com
Despite being passionate about the project, Neeraj and Vishaka’s initial venture never took off. Ultimately they realised that running the business alongside their day jobs would be too much of a challenge, and the company went quiet for a couple of years. When Neeraj was made redundant in 2012, he took it as a sign and decided to devote himself completely to the business, full time. He and Vishaka set up Tea People in 2013. The duo’s interest in tea had predated their work with the schools in Darjeeling – they had long been frustrated by the quality of tea available in British supermarkets. “We found that there wasn’t any proper tea in the supermarkets,” says Neeraj. “If you wanted good tea you had to go to places like Fortnum and Mason or Harrods. You couldn’t buy proper
tea in a normal shop.” Making sure their tea lived up to their own rigorous standards was a key guiding element in setting up their business. Turmeric tea Tea People’s newest tea is its Organic Turmeric Chai, and it’s been a big hit so far. Turmeric has been a staple in India’s cuisine and its wider culture for a long time. “The antibiotic and healing properties of turmeric have been known to Indians since ancient times. When we were growing up, our mothers would give us turmeric in milk whenever we got hurt.” This ancient knowledge is no longer confined to south Asia; in recent years, turmeric products have become increasingly popular in the west. Neeraj and Vishaka spotted a great opportunity to take advantage of a trend, creating a turmeric tea.
“When we started looking around for ingredients for our turmeric tea, we found that the most common way of consuming turmeric is in the form of powder, which is used in cooking,” Neeraj explains. “A few companies here and there were offering turmeric tea, but they were all using turmeric powder to make it. This wasn’t something that appealed to us, as it results in tea that tastes quite powdery and is not as pleasing to drink. “We started to look around for nonpowdered turmeric, which initially we couldn’t find anywhere. We then went to a supplier of ours, an organic farm in Sri Lanka, which supplied us with turmeric root pieces. We found that it was completely different to anything else on the market, decided that we had a winning product, and launched it.”
Making a difference The company runs as a normal venture, paying expenses, suppliers and salaries; at the end of each year it pours 50% of its profits into its social projects. “Stepping into our fourth year, as with any other business, we are completely bootstrapped,” Neeraj tells us. “We didn’t have any funding or investment – we started from our kitchen table. It took us a while to reach a place where we could start to make a profit. In the second year we managed to break even, in the third year we made a tiny profit and now we are expecting to make a healthier profit. As we grow into the future we are expecting to make a larger profit, and increase our social impact.”
Further information www.teapeople.co.uk
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
I’m lov abo bra pus cha
South East From apricot ale to dimpled rolls, here’s the South East produce, markets, shows and products we’re championing this month
From its humble beginnings when Granny Norah planted a few cloves in her garden, the Garlic Farm has expanded to become the UK’s largest specialist garlic grower. Owner Colin Boswell’s farm shop offers a mind-blowing array of different garlic varieties, plus garlic-infused products running the gamut from chutneys to fertiliser to beer. The most recent innovation – and a world first – is the farm’s own Black Garlic Vodka. Infusing the vodka with black garlic creates sweet liquorice and caramel undertones, with a gorgeous garlic kick. The farm even holds its own Garlic Festival, first held in 1983, which has grown to become one of the largest events on the Isle of Wight – the next edition runs from 19-20 August 2017. contact@thegarlicfarm. co.uk
The leading microdistillery in Kent, and the first to distil gin in the county for over 200 years, Anno Distillers’ premier product is Anno Kent Dry Gin, a super smooth, ultra-premium spirit that combines traditional gin botanicals, local hops, lavender and samphire with a Kentish twist. www.annodistillers.co.uk Following its initial release in 2016, West Sussex-based Foxhole Spirits brought out its second grape-based gin in March. Foxhole takes the unused juice from grapes grown at the Bolney Wine Estate, and adds a variety of botanicals – including juniper, coriander, angelica seed, orris, liquorice root, bitter orange, lemon and grapefruit zest – to create the perfect blend. With each grape vintage different from the last, no two batches of Foxhole gin are the same. email@example.com
World renowned seafood retail and wholesale supplier West Whelks has a long history of catching the ‘Whitstable Native Oyster,’ providing shellfish for local and upmarket restaurants and retailers. Nothing goes better with a bag of its whelks than a Kentish huff kin – a light, soft tea bread with a dimple on top. We think The Umbrella Café in Whitstable makes the best ones. www.westwhelks.co.uk
With South East England now a focal point for English sparkling wines, Chapel Down’s Three Graces 2010 sparkling wine was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Wine Challenge 2017. Also of note is its Kit’s Coty Estate Chardonnay 2014, now in its second vintage. www.chapeldown.com Just down the road, East Sussex vineyard Oxney has bagged numerous awards since it started out in 2012. Its standout product for summer is the copper pink Pinot Noir Rosé 2016, complete with summer fruit aromas and a lovely clean finish. firstname.lastname@example.org 44
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Debonair Tea Company was founded at the end of 2014 by Kent-based couple Louisa Latham and Phillip Johnson. After starting out on a limited budget, the Hythe company has now created and sourced over 20 tasty unique teas and infusions. email@example.com
Award-winning Gadds’ creates fresh local ale at Ramsgate Brewery in East Kent and sells it in both casks and bottles. Our current favourite is ‘I Dream of Apricots’, a perfectly balanced, juicy ale created by brewer Sue Fisher, using Kent apricots grown by a local hop farmer. The result is truly unique, with a skilful depth of flavour. info@ramsgate brewery.co.uk
Woodley’s Finest is a small artisan chocolatier in Horsham, West Sussex, set up by Fiona Cottington and Michael Woodley. It creates handmade chocolates in unusual flavours, and is looking to increase its market presence. sales@ woodleysfinest.com Founded by friends Lynne Paris and Emily Turner in 2013, Rowdy & Fancy’s Chocolate in East Sussex uses only the finest organic ingredients. Taken over in January by Annys Kirkpatrick and her family, it now produces unique chocolate bars such as Snap Dragon Rum & Raisin. firstname.lastname@example.org www.farmanddeliretail.com
SHOW TIME FARMER’S MARKETS, FOOD FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Whitstable Oyster Festival
Winchester Farmer’s Market, Hampshire
When Second and last Sunday of every month A favourite of chef Rick Stein, this is the UK’s biggest farmers’ market. Around 90 producers present their wares, from ostrich to crab. To be sold at the market, produce must be grown, reared, pickled, smoked or processed within 10 miles of the Hampshire border. Where High Street, Winchester www.hampshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk
Great British Food Festival
When 22-23 July 2017 A fantastic weekend at the new Great British Food Festival venue in the heart of the Hertfordshire. The festival in Knebworth is a two-day event being held from 22-23 July at Knebworth House, with more Great British Food Festival dates being held at different venues across the UK. This event showcases artisan food market, baked food, confectionery, street food and more. Where Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6PY email@example.com
Kent County Show
When 7-9 July 2017 The Kent County Show showcases farming, countryside and rural life. Open from 8am to 6pm every day, the show hosts 400 exhibitors and trade stands, as well as 300 competitions, activities and displays. Where Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone, ME14 3JF www.kentshowground.co.uk
When 22-24 July 2017 Whitstable is famous for its native oysters and history as a fishing port. Traditionally a celebration of the previous year’s successful harvest, the Oyster Festival is packed with food and drink markets, live music and oyster-eating competitions. Where Church Street Playing Fields, Whitstable www.whitstableoysterfestival.co.uk
Benington Chilli Festival
When 26-28 August 2017 Heat fiends will love the chilli festival at Benington Lordship Gardens. Two fiery days of fun showcase more than 60 of the nation’s best known independent chilli traders, who will be selling everything chilli. The festival’s world-famous chilli eating competition offers a unique opportunity to sample some of the world’s hottest peppers. Where Benington Lordship Gardens, Stevenage, Hertfordshire www.beningtonlordship.co.uk
Rye Bay Scallop Week
When 24 February-4 March 2018 Rye Bay Scallop Week in Rye, East Sussex, is an opportunity to indulge in seafood delights. Restaurants iwill showcase a variety of scallop-based dishes; you can also expect scallop tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations, live music, and much more. Where Rye Bay, East Sussex www.scallop.org.uk
Raw Wine Fair
When 11-12 March 2018 Spread over two days, the Raw Wine Fair celebrates some of the best wine talent from all over the world. Featuring over 150 growers, Raw Wine is one of the UK’s most exciting exhibitions of fine, natural, organic and biodynamic wine artisans. Where 180 The Strand, London www.rawwine.com
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
With the new school year fast approaching, there’s no better time to start stocking products for children’s packed lunches. We’ve put together a selection of great products that are innovative, healthy, child-friendly – and tasty
Company: Naturelly Launched: September 2015 A naturally fruity jelly snack made with fruit juice and a special gelatine-free gelling agent called gellan gum, which is made from lily pads. RRP £1.09 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fruity Oat Bar
Company: Pulsin Launched: March 2016 Made with real fruit and natural ingredients. One of a child’s five a day, gluten free, dairy free, soya free and non-GM. RRP £2.99 for 6 x 25g bars email@example.com
Company: Emily Fruit Crisps Launched: January 2017 Only 95 calories, vegan-friendly and free from preservatives, additives and gluten. The cooking technique preserves vitamins, nutrients, colour and taste. RRP £1.19 for 23g firstname.lastname@example.org 46
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Goodies Cheese & Herb Puffs
Company: Organix Launched: 2000 Baked rather than fried, and flavoured with cheese and a sprinkle of herbs. Complies with Organix’s ‘No Junk’ promise to never add unnecessary or artificial ingredients. RRP £1.99 email@example.com
Company: Pip Organic Launched: March 2017 Fruity, hydrating and 100% organic. Made with spring water, contains under 100 calories and is ‘school compliant’. Available in Mango, Orange & Apple, and Blackcurrant, Raspberry & Apple. RRP £4.49- £4.99 for a multipack firstname.lastname@example.org
Dinosaur Pasta Shapes
Company: Little Pasta Organics Launched: July 2017 Made entirely from red lentils, this dinosaur-shaped pasta aims to make mealtimes fun for children. Very convenient for busy parents. RRP £3.79 for 250g email@example.com
Asparagus, Pea & Broad Bean Stir-In Pasta Sauce
Company: Little Pasta Organics Launched: July 2017 Created especially for children aged nine months and above, where texture is introduced but without lumps. One of a child’s five a day, and gluten-free. RRP £2.99 firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
SNACKS & CRISPS
Snacks Wild Garlic & Rosemary
Company: The Great British Biscotti Co. Launched: May 2017 The Great British Biscotti Co. offers a variety of sweet and savoury biscotti. It has recently added several new varieties to its range, including the aromatic and flavour-packed Wild Garlic & Rosemary. RRP £2.99 for 100g pack www.paul@greatbritish biscotti.co.uk
Crunchy Sweet Potato, Carrot & Beetroot
Company: Emily Crisps Launched: January 2017 These vegetable crisps are available in Crunchy French Beans, Sugar Snap Peas & Black Edamame, or Crunchy Sweet Potato, Carrot & Beetroot. They are a gluten-free and veganfriendly crisp alternative, with 95 calories per pack. RRP £1.19 for 23g pack email@example.com
Spring Onion & Italian Cheese
Company: Soffle’s Pitta Chips Launched: July 2016 Oven-roasted with olive oil, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper, these low-fat pitta chips are made in Tottenham and come in four delicious savoury flavours. Ideal for eating with beer, hummus and tzatziki – or just by themselves. RRP £1.19 for 23g pack firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
Cacao, Coconuts & Chia Seeds
Company: N’eat Launched: April 2017 An all-natural wholefood energy bar, available in five flavours and made with naturally energising and ethically sourced ingredients. The range was launched to cater for people who wanted a healthy energy bar without the sugar and preservatives. RRP £1 for 45g bar email@example.com
Company: Fori Launched: October 2016 A natural meat-based snack that is designed to provide healthy, long-lasting energy. Fori bars are made from free-range meat, fruit, seeds and spicy seasoning, and are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly. They have a shelf life of 12 months and contain no additives or preservatives. RRP £2.99 firstname.lastname@example.org
Broaden your range of...
Red Onion Marmalade
Company: The Proper Marmalade Company Launched: June 2017 The Proper Marmalade Company presents its newest addition to the range, Red Onion Marmalade. Improperly called marmalade, and technically a chutney, this condiment is rich in flavour, made with dark onions and can be used to excite meats and cheeses. RRP £3.95 info@cranfieldsfoods. com
In a Pickle Lily
Company: In A Pickle Food Co. Launched: 2014 A gloriously yellow mustard pickle packed with crunchy vegetables, piccalilli was created during the days of the British Empire as a British interpretation of flavoursome Indian pickles. In A Pickle’s take on this traditional classic won both a Taste of the West Gold Award in 2014, and a coveted Great Taste Award. Launched in 2014, the piccalilli has been popular ever since and has won numerous awards. RRP £3.95 email@example.com
Spicy Garlic & Wasabi Chutney
Company: Cherry Tree Preserves Launched: January 2016 One of Cherry Tree Preserves’ most popular and quick-selling chutneys, with a sweet and spicy garlic tang and an afterheat from the chilli and wasabi. Try this with curries as an alternative to mango chutney. This chutney also won Taste of the West Gold in 2016. RRP £3.95 firstname.lastname@example.org
Company: Mrs Darlington’s Launched: May 2017 A sweet, smoky and very moreish relish, perfect with grilled or barbecued meat or fish. Add this to slow-cooked pork or chicken and put in a bun for a succulent, melt-in-the-mouth summer barbecue party pleaser. Winning the Fine Food Digest’s Best Preserves Brand 2016-2017, Mrs Darlington’s aims to bring an authentic British homemade taste to kitchens worldwide. RRP £2.39 email@example.com
Broaden Range.indd 49
Hot Pear Chutney
Company: Jules & Sharpie Launched: October 2011 This Hot Pear Chutney is a an aromatic and fruity preserve, with a fiery kick provided by the Scotch Bonnet chillies that are added to the mix. The combination of delicious spices and chillies makes this perfect to combine with cheese and hot or cold meat. RRP £3.50 firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
THE STORY BEHIND
HESPER FARM SKYR
The story behind...
Hesper Farm Skyr
Sam Moorhouse, young farmer and producer of the only British-made skyr, tells us about setting up a traditional Icelandic yogurt company and diversifying a family-run dairy farm Tell us about your farm, your product and why you wanted to diversify. We’re a family-run dairy farm in the Yorkshire Dales, milking about 180 pedigree Holstein Friesians. We diversified in 2015, as milk prices were falling and we needed some way to make the farm more secure. Skyr is an Icelandic superfood – it’s a bit like yoghurt but made with more milk. It’s very high in protein and calcium, low in sugar and fat-free. We’re the first British farm to make it.
time, where I was taught how to make skyr by my mentor Thorarinn Sveinsson. As it was a relatively unknown product in the UK, we did lots of market research with my former agricultural college, Reaseheath College.
How much time did you spend on research? I spent a lot of time researching the product and the market before we launched. This took me to Iceland twice, for a couple of weeks each 50
Farm & Deli Retail • July/August 2017
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The biggest learning curve was probably the logistics and how to deal with buyers
Did you speak to any associations or government departments for advice? I worked with Yorkshire regional food group Deliciously Yorkshire to help develop initial connections to markets. What were your set-up costs? The initial costs were around £200,000£250,000, which included packaging and brand development, building and initial overheads. The business is part of a farming partnership, which makes it hard to finance with investors, so we had to go down the route of traditional bank finance. When did you know the product was going to be successful? There was a lot of interest in the product right from the start because of its nutritional credentials and the fact it was so new to this market. People also picked up on the fact that I’m a young farmer looking at a new way to make farming work. Did you need to learn any new skills? I’ve learned a variety of skills, from skyr-making methods to business management. Before I started Hesper Farm Skyr I had never worked in dairy processing so it all had to be learnt from scratch, but the biggest learning curve was probably the logistics and how to deal with buyers. How do you manage your time – have you had to hire any extra help? In the beginning I took on a degree student from Harper Adams University to help share out the responsibilities, but even with two people working
full time we were very busy, working seven days a week across the business. We’ve since invested in equipment to make the production work more efficiently and increase capacity. Since then we’ve gained more business and we’re now at the point where we need to consider hiring more people. Did you invest in any special equipment? Initially we had built a production building that was up to SALSA standards in order to supply major retailers; we also had to buy specific filling equipment that could handle the thickness of skyr. Since our initial investment we have invested again into further specialist equipment, to give us a number of benefits in consistency and volume. Do you feel the story is important to the business? People have been very interested in our story from the start. They are keen to see how farming is evolving and have been very supportive. Telling our story is one way of sharing information about British farming and diversification; they love to hear about Baby, the cow featured on our pots. She’s a well-loved cow at the farm – a bit of a character who very much does her own thing. She’s very representative of our ethos at Hesper Farm – going our own way, with farming at the heart of everything we do.
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Events catering Retail sales Wholesale sales Corporate events Bespoke menus
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Custom built British Smoker 18 hour smoked Beef Brisket Floppy Chickens Farmers markets Online sales
Our whole boned, stuffed, Floppy Chickens, other variations of poultry and smoked Beef Brisket can be purchased online, over the phone and at farmers markets around the country. Our custom built British smoker can be hired out for all events, weddings, birthdays parties, corporate events etc. Get in touch if you would like to know more.
www.queensbankfarm.co.uk Orders & general enquiries T: 01406 330488 E: email@example.com Events & hire T: 07966662077n E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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