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UK: Farm shop slams supermarkets for 'overpriced and poorly sourced' produce

Supermarkets have come under fire for being "too expensive and not providing consumers with enough good quality produce from their region" by the boss of the UK's oldest farm shop.

Simon Hirst, partner in the family-run Hinchliffe's Farm Shop in Netherton, West Yorkshire (established in 1974), said consumers were "missing out" by being forced to buy from supermarkets.

“The supermarkets have had a stranglehold on our food chain for so long we’ve been given little choice but to trawl the multiples’ aisles for food that is poor quality, poorly sourced and, particularly in the case of the meat products, over-priced,” said Mr Hirst, the fourth generation manager of the Yorkshire farm, which is famed for its top-quality beef, chicken and on-site butchers shop.

“The supermarkets would have us believe they are cheaper than the farm shops and farmers’ markets but, in many cases, this simply isn’t true.”

The family said for two years in a row, their meat cuts have been chapter than those sold in their nearest supermarket - their latest price comparison survey showed that 18 out of 20 producers were the same or better value than the local Sainsbury's. Cooked ham, chicken breasts, pork chops and cooked beef were more than half the price.

“Supermarkets may sell ‘value’ meat but really it has no value. Our meat is hand reared on the farm, and we butcher on site too so we know exactly what has gone in to the meat from plot to plate," added Mr Hirst.

"Because there’s no middle man and zero food miles we can offer it at a cheaper price than the supermarkets but still ensure top quality.”

85% of the food and drink sold in the farm shop is sourced from local producers in a bid to offer customers produce from their region and inject money back into local communities, he added.

“Like many local, family businesses, we’re passionate about what we do, and can give that one-to-one personal service that supermarkets cannot," said Mr Hirst.

"Multinationals and chains are stripping away the unique character of our high street - and our countryside - so let’s make a stand before we all end up living in identikit towns and cities.”


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