Farm shop highly commended in ‘Rural Oscars’

Kevin and Milly Stokes of Farndon Fields with Owen Paterson
Kevin and Milly Stokes of Farndon Fields with Owen Paterson

A Harborough farm shop was highly commended in the local food category of a national award scheme.

Farndon Fields Farm Shop was competing in the finals of the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards - dubbed the Rural Oscars - after winning the category for the East of England section.

Attending the final in Westminster on March 13, they missed out on top spot to a farm in Devon.

The shop is independently run by owners Kevin and Milly Stokes.

The couple began selling potatoes in 1983 but the business has since grown to include a butchery, café, plant centre and impressive displays of over 40 varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Putting the shop through to the final, judges had said of the shop: “This is exactly the type of rural business that deserves recognition for the employment it affords, the sourcing of local produce, much of it grown on the farm within view of the shop, and the facilities that it provides the local community,” they said.

“Seventy-five per cent of the produce sold is local including meat, game, cheese, bread and 40 varieties of fruit and vegetables grown on-farm. No danger of horsemeat here – traceability is total. Information around the shop shows how food is produced.

“Local food means that in this shop the daily bread travels 300 metres and a lady called Kim bakes homemade cakes two miles away.

“The café sells plenty of local produce and is a hub for many locals, including the elderly and the local WI.

“Farndon Fields also supplies many local pubs, restaurants and schools.”