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Future is Bright for Sustainable Farming Supported by Local Retailing


Fodder Injects over 1.9million into Local Economy in First Year of Trading.

Fodder, the flagship food shop and cafe championed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, is celebrating a successful 1st year of trading alongside the 185 farmers and producers the shop supports with orders.

Now firmly on the foodie radar, Fodder has become the shop window for local farmers and producers giving a crucial local market for their produce.  The shop is Britains first charitable food hall with all profits re-invested to benefit the rural community.

Fodders local sourcing policy has injected 1.9 m into Yorkshires economy supporting over 185  local farmers, producers and emerging businesses.   Research by Oxfam reports that every pound spent on locally grown food puts at least 3 into the local economy.

Managing Director Heather Parry explains, Fodder has quickly established itself as a mecca of local produce, 85% of what we sell is reared, grown or made in Yorkshire. The economic upside of supporting local producers is the benefit to the rural economy. Money spent locally works a lot harder for the communityand the profit from money spent at Fodder is directly re-invested in the charitable activities of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Charlotte Shaw runs a  business that has blossomed with Fodders opening.

Shaw turned her great-great grandmothers century-old recipe for Yorkshire Parkin into a thriving small enterprise, selling her deliciously moreish oat and treacle cake  at Fodder.

I come from a family who have been village bakers for over 100 years, and establishing Lottie Shaws Seriously Good Parkin has been a return to my baking roots, explains Shaw.

Fodder has been a brilliant support to us, by arranging  store tastings, and using our parkin in their caf. Parkin is such an iconic Yorkshire speciality, but lots of people arent familiar with itbeyond bonfire night.   Its great to have a shop window to showcase to educate,  celebrate and retail local produce.  Fodder certainly has really helped to put us on the map.

Ruth Russell farms a herd of 90 longhorn cattle near Duggleby, East Yorkshire and is one of the farmers who s supplies Fodder with high quality meat.  Longhorn cattle are a native English breed that fell from favour, as supermarkets demanded larger animals, quickly fattened for a swift return.

There has been a renaissance in the Longhorn cattle breed, with a resurgence of retailers like Fodder, looking to provide high quality produce with a difference.

My father first started farming Longhorns because he wanted something nice to look at against the landscape. But theyre a great breed to farm for a number of reasons apart from delicious beef. Were fully committed to preserving the wildlife on the farm, and Longhorns are natural foragers and love to graze on our protected chalk grasslands. Preserving and encouraging the wildlife on our farm is hugely important to us..

Supplying Fodder is a great fit to what were trying to achieve on the farm; sustainable agricultural practices are at the core of our enterprise. Fodder genuinely cares about how the food they sell is reared.  Paul, their Head Butcher comes to the farm to select which animals hell sell, that personal touch ensures full traceability and demonstrates their commitment to animal welfare as well as to Yorkshire Farmers, says Ms. Russell.

Sustainable and local retailing can be a powerful economic force in supporting the rural economy.  Yorkshire is said to be the pantry of England, people just dont know whats on their doorstep. Fodder wants to change how we shop, cook and eat. As the summer rolls on, Id say Yorkshire will eat very well, concludes Miss Parry.

Factfile June 2009 June 2010:

185   Farmers and Producer Supply Fodder, many of them small scale operations. This includes the UK’s smallest commercial dairy herd of just 12 cows, a mix of Holsteins, Friesians and Jerseys supplying milk for the Calderdale Creamery, near Sowerby Bridge, to make artisan butter and cheese.

Calderdales Bad Boy is the most popular cheese sold at Fodder.

15,660 sausages have been made and sold on the premises using local pork.  Laid end to end the bangers could circle the whole of the 100 acre Great Yorkshire Showground.

4,629 big fluffy clouds of meringues from the Kitchen, the farmyard bakery in Whitley, Near Goole have floated out Fodders door.

18,225 cups of perfect Yorkshire Tea have been sold alongside thousands of slices of lemon drizzle cake

2,432 Lottie Shaws Seriously Good Parkin have been sold proving that this old favorite is still in vogue.

Award Winning Fodder

Winners of Deliciouslyorkshire Independent Retailer of the Year
Yorkshire Post Green Building Award Winner
Countyside Alliance Best Yorkshire Enterprise Award winner
RICS Sustainability Award and Overall Best Project in Yorkshire Award winners
Estates Trade Gazette Environment Award winner

Fodder is run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, a registered charity which runs the Great Yorkshire Show and Countryside Live. The 2010 Great Yorkshire Show takes place from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15th July.

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