Minister pledges more support for farm shop '˜revolution'

A promise to look at ways of increasing the number of farm shops in the country has been made by rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead during a visit to one of the more recently opened outlets.

Richard Lochhead said he was keen to help create more farm shops. Picture: Ian Rutherford

“These [farm shops] are part of the food revolution across the country,” he said. “There is scope for more and I am keen to investigate how we can help. We have helped farm shops and independent producers in the past and we have had a lot of success with local food firms.” Lochhead was speaking during a visit to Grewar’s Farm Shop at Dronley near Dundee which opened in December. For cousins Euan and Peter Grewar, the diversification into retailing from their established family firm based on large-scale potato growing and merchanting has been revealing.

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More used to dealing with tonnes of potatoes, they are now operating at the other end of the spectrum selling five and ten kilo packs both from their shop and six automatic vending machines in and around Perth and Dundee. “It has given us a great perspective on what customers are looking for and this will help us in our main business,” said Peter Grewar.

They intend growing a range of vegetables but also to bring in other produce from farming neighbours. They have been encouraged by the diversity of food they have been able to source from Scottish companies.

“From an agricultural point of view, it is all about adding as much value as possible from produce,” said Euan Grewar.