Festive shoppers in Cornwall are still planning to ‘give the gift of local’ this Christmas to support farmers and independent businesses, new research from leading rural insurer NFU Mutual reveals.
While 38% of people surveyed said they planned to spend less this Christmas, seven in ten said they will still shop with independent retailers this year.
As well as visiting farm shops, butchers and bakeries, a recent NFU Mutual poll found a quarter of respondents said they would dine at local eateries this Christmas to support local businesses while 15% would attend festive events.
When it comes to ingredients for Christmas dinner, 60% of people surveyed said they would like to buy meat from a local producer or farm shop, while 20% sought fresh local vegetables and 14% are looking for artisan cheeses.
Fresh, quality produce was the main reason why people chose to visit farm shops, followed by support for British farmers, boosting the local economy and shopping experience.
Richard Young, from NFU Mutual’s Liskeard and St Austell Agency, said: “As the cost-of-living impact is being felt by so many, it is understandable that people are planning to spend the same or less than last Christmas.
“With this in mind, it is heart-warming to see there is still appetite among shoppers to seek out something special this year from farm shops and other local businesses.”
Producers Will and Kate Martin of Treway Farm Turkeys near St Austell are celebrating an increase in sales of their premium bronze turkeys this Christmas.
It’s reward for all the hard work the couple have put in since 2015, when they diversified into producing the birds, along with geese.
Since 2007, when they took over the running of Treway, the couple have already enjoyed success with their 300 strong Shorthorn herd. The cattle are produced for their meat, which is sold at the couple’s weekly ‘pop up’ farm shop, as well as across the country, via courier home delivery service.
Currently, they are the first and only producers in Cornwall to be accredited with ‘Golden Turkey Standard’, a scheme which guarantees the highest welfare standards for the birds they sell.
The couple have also been able to give local employment a boost by recruiting the additional, temporary labour they need at this time of the year.
Will Martin explained: “We sold out of all our turkeys and geese by the end of November and we really appreciate the support of customers who look to buy local.
“We know how important it is to think local, which is why we employ local people and support other local businesses, selling their products, as well as our own at our ‘pop up’ shop.”