Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Britons Demands for Regional Produce Get Stronger

In recent research commissioned by fresh produce supplier From My Farm, 80% of the 14,000 respondents said they would like to see more locally grown produce available in the shops and two out of three were willing to pay more for regionally sourced produce.  This is music to the ears of the company just celebrating its second anniversary.

Brainchild of Yorkshire Farmers daughter, Charlotte Falkingham, From My Farm, is a unique supplier concept inspired by the growing consumer concern about food provenance and food miles.  The From My Farm model divides the UK into eight regions from where it identifies and works with top quality growers. Hubs collate orders, liaise with regional growers and deliver to the nearest regional distribution centre or, in some cases, direct to store. In this way national supermarket chains have the convenience of a one-stop buying solution for regional, fresh produce while small local growers have the opportunity to supply major multiples in their region when they would not otherwise have the volume of scale to do so.

Based on clearly defined values of seasonality, regionality and provenance, From My Farm was keen to grasp how aware the Great British public is of the seasons and which fruit and veg are available at what time of year.  There were some shocking findings with only one in three people aware that now is the British apple season and a worrying one in five thinking the British apple harvest lasts all year round.  Half the people questioned correctly identified the Cox apple as a British variety but well over half also thought that Granny Smiths are British and a third identified Golden Delicious as British too.  Perhaps even more alarmingly one in 10 people genuinely thought strawberries grew on trees (strangely a more common misconception among men than women) with one in 12 thinking Brussels sprouts did too.

The survey data, which was split by county, highlighted the fact that even in areas traditionally known for growing a particular crop, there seemed to be a distinct disconnection with the land.   Shockingly, fewer than of respondents in Yorkshire knew rhubarb was locally grown in the rhubarb triangle, only 29% of the 755 Welsh respondents knew that their region was a key growing area for leeks, the iconic Welsh emblem; only one in five respondents in Worcestershire knew asparagus was a local speciality with a similar lack of awareness in Cambridgeshire about beetroot.

However, although consumers may lack the knowledge, they certainly still want to buy locally grown food, with 80 per cent of respondents saying they would like to see more available in the shops.  Over half said this was because they wanted to support their local economy but a respectable 13% were worried about food miles.

From My Farm also carried out a snapshot survey of 12 different supermarket fruit and vegetable shopping baskets across three regions of the UK.  This showed that the average From My Farm produce line travels 91 miles compared to the average conventional supermarket produce line of 231 miles, a saving of 140 food miles. Multiply this kind of saving up across the year on all the fruit and veg a consumer buys, then the food miles saving would be significant.  As a specific example, in the East of England, From My Farm is supplied with chillies from Joanna Plumb of Edible Ornamentals.  By working with her, From My Farm clocks up 94 miles on its chillies compared to 842 for one supermarket chain who buy theirs from France and another 1,490 miles, who import theirs from Spain.


Rick Sanderson, commercial manager at From My Farm commented:  Everyone has become so used to being able to buy what they want when they want it, that we are gradually losing our knowledge and appreciation of what is British, local, seasonal produce.  But the pendulum has started to swing the other way with more and more people expressing a desire to start buying local again.  And Im delighted to see from the research more than one in three consumers saying they feel guilty if they buy foreign produce when British produce is available.  And two out of three say theyd be willing to pay more for regionally sourced produce.

Joanna Plumb is one of 67 growers supplying the From My Farm brand. I supply chillies to From My Farm and becoming one of their regional growers has made a huge difference to my business.  It has given me the economy of scale to actually work with the supermarkets as well as smaller local retailers and so ensure that my produce is accessible to more people in the area, an increasing number of whom are demanding locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables.

From My Farm produce is currently available in selected Morrisons and Waitrose as well as farm shops and delis. For more information and to find out about the range of fresh produce available at any time and from which area visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.