Farm shop on a roll as it scoops a Rural Oscar

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A farm shop in Harborough has won a regional award for the quality of its food after judges praised its owners for sourcing food locally.

The Countryside Alliance Awards judges joked “there is no danger of horsemeat here” as they awarded Farndon Fields Farm Shop the Local Food award for the East of England.

The shop, based off Farndon Road, will now go on to represent the region in the national finals of the awards – dubbed the Rural Oscars – in Westminster on March 13.

The shop, which is independently run by owners Kevin and Milly Stokes, won the same award last year.

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.

The shop’s marketing manager Holly Jones said she hopes it will go on to claim national glory this year.

She added: “We are very pleased to have won this award again for the East of England and we would like to thank our customers who nominated us, which makes it even more rewarding.

“This shows our customers understand our philosophy of growing our own fruit and vegetables and buying local products such as meats which are sourced from farms around Leicestershire.”

News of the shop’s victory comes as big supermarket supply chains have come under scrutiny due to the discovery of horsemeat in some food products.

The Countryside Alliance judges said there is no danger of that at Farndon Fields.

“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.”