Tesco pipped by farm shop in value survey

A trip to your local farm shop need not leave you out of pocket and could even save you money, according to exclusive research by Farmers Weekly.

For a list of 15 common or seasonal products from broccoli to pork sausages, one farm shop came in £2.11 less than Tesco and all of those surveyed were cheaper than Sainsbury’s

In fact, Sainsbury’s charged almost £20 more for the basket of food than the cheapest retailer (see below). The findings add weight to FW’s Food Miles campaign, which is gathering momentum with more than 2000 signatures to its petition.

  Ingfield Farm Shop, Yorkshire Rumwell Farm Shop, Somerset Tesco Sainsbury’s
 Sprouting broccoli  £2.31/kg £1.96/kg  £6.45 £9.95
 Bramley apples £1.25/kg £0.99/kg  £1.38 £1.45
 Sirloin steak £12.69 £13.99 £13.44 £18.99
 TOTAL* £56.47 £57.99 £58.58 £75.23

* Highlights only: total refers to 15 products
NB Prices correct at end April for roughly equivalent produce

Although the survey can only be indicative, it suggests your best value local retailer may not be a multiple.

Ingfield Farm Shop at Southowram, near Halifax, Yorkshire, came in with the lwoest prices, charging £56.47 for our shopping.

Owner Margaret Bamford said she was delighted with the findings, but added that quality was more important than price for her customers.

“We do look at Tesco prices,” she said. “And for fresh vegetables they honestly seem overpriced.

Ingfield buys from local producers, enabling them to sell purple sprouting broccoli for £2.31 in April, when Tesco was charging £6.45/kg at the time of research.

And a cauliflower cost less at the farm shop than at the multiple.

“But I’m not even sure price comes into it for most of our customers. We did a survey after Christmas, and people said that quality was as important as price.”

The biggest price differences between the two types of retailer were on fresh meat, where the high quality of local producers was hard to match.

For instance, a 28-day matured sirloin steak from Ingfield’s own 60-strong Limousin herd cost a third less than Sainsbury’s equivalent.

Further south, top quality mince from the beef herd at Rumwell Farm near Taunton, Somerset, came in £1.66/kg cheaper than Sainsbury’s.

Owner Anne Mitchell said that the recent opening of a butcher at the farm shop had given sales a real boost.

“It’s taken years to get the butchers off the ground, but it’s made customers very happy because they can do the whole shop from us. Now they say they only need to go to Sainsbury’s for toilet paper and washing powder!”

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