Charter marks new way to buy your veg

FRESH FOOD EVERY DAY: Hollow Trees Farm Shop owner Sally Bendall, county councillor Colin Spence with trading standards officers Claire Fisher and Clare Davies.
FRESH FOOD EVERY DAY: Hollow Trees Farm Shop owner Sally Bendall, county councillor Colin Spence with trading standards officers Claire Fisher and Clare Davies.
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Hollow Trees Farm Shop in Semer was chosen by Trading Standards to launch the first UK charter for food produced at farm shops.

It follows research last year which found some food products in farm shops lacked the correct label information, or failed to meet clear standards when it came to advertising the source of the produce.

Fifteen farm shops across Suffolk, including Willow Tree Farm Shop in Glemsford, have signed up to the charter.

Semer farm shop owner Sally Bendall said: “We were very happy to host such an exciting event at our farm shop and to bring local communities together in the process – it is so important that farm shops across our county are united in an effort to produce quality local food to the public.”

The official launch of the charter was attended by county councillor Colin Spence, who was joined at the shop near Hadleigh by staff and Suffolk Trading Standards officials.

The Trading Standards team is now working with small producers in Suffolk to resolve more than 300 wrongly labelled foods found during the project.

Charter members are audited to check they meet relevant criteria. On achieving the high standard, shops display a certificate to give consumers greater confidence about exactly what they can expect from their purchases.

Farm shops have undertaken to improve food and allergen labelling, check that food is locally grown or sourced, maintain accurate weighing equipment, display clear and transparent pricing, handle complaints fairly and provide full traceability of food produce.

For the full story see last week’s Free Press.