Supplier profit promise from shop development

Plans to convert an old flint-and-brick grain store in a Norfolk village will see the launch of an innovative new farm business later this year.

The Walsingham Estate is leading efforts to create a farm shop in the village of Little Walsingham, which will sell produce from scores of local farmers.

But key to the success of the venture is the pledge to return retail profits to farmer suppliers.

Shop manager Giles Blatchford, a former Farmers Weekly barometer farmer, said it was being run as a co-op.

“The aim is to involve as many local people in the business as possible.

It will operate on a ‘fair trade’ basis, paying a 10% premium to all suppliers.”

Besides the shop – which will sell meat, poultry, game, fish, vegetables, fruit, dairy products and ready meals – a fish and chip shop and restaurant is also planned as well as a stall in nearby farmers’ markets, all making use of members’ produce.

Mr Blatchford said he wanted to tap into the groundswell of support for local food, with all the produce on sale sourced within 30 miles of the shop.

The area’s many tourists would also prove a vital market.