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Countryfile: Sean Fletcher reflects on 2020
Countryfile’s Helen Skelton encouraged fans of the show to buy locally where possible during tonight’s edition of the BBC show. The Countryfile team were on hand to showcase ways people can plan to make the countryside a bigger part of their lives. However, viewers were infuriated when Helen pointed out the price of a jar of honey as a farm shop she was visiting.
Helen began: “It’s the new year and resolutions are bound where we decide to make better choices not least about our shopping.
“Our independent stores have had a tough time of late and our farmers face an uncertain future.
“So this year my resolution is to support my local whenever I’m able.
“Families spend nearly a fifth of their annual budget on food including meals out. That’s about £5,000 and the vast majority of that is spent in the supermarket.”
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“We love supermarkets. They’re convenient, you can get everything under one roof and they’re cheap,” Helen continued.
“But alongside them sits small independents and they need our help now more than ever.”
Helen visited the Crag House Farm Shop in Leeds to find out why customers are willing to pay extra for their groceries.
“They’re a hub for the community, providing local employment, selling goods made by small independents and a 2019 survey by an opinion poll said more than half of us believe shopping in them is better for the environment.”
“Admittedly farm shops aren’t always the cheapest but you will find things here that you won’t find anywhere else and most of it comes directly from local producers,” Helen said.
The Countryfile host picked out a jar of honey costing £6.99 and argued it can be hard to find British honey in supermarkets.
However, viewers were alarmed at the price and took to Twitter to comment.
One remarked: “Sorry Helen, £6 for a jar of honey when the farmer hasn’t had to deal with a supermarket and has no transport costs? It’s not a realistic place to get food, more of a #countryfile gift shop. Do they sell calendars? Probably a huge mark up on them too.”
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“You lost me at £7 for some f*****g honey #countryfile,” another shared.
A third added: “#countryfile. Buy local .. Honey for £6.99. Would buy something local if I could afford to do it in these places.”
Someone else tweeted: “£6 for a jar of honey. Well stung there. #countryfile.”
“Farmers ripping off customers with overpriced honey #countryfile,” a fifth said.
Helen spoke to the man behind Crag House, Tim Parkinson to find out what farm shops can offer.
“We need large supermarkets,” Tim began. “They are of course very convenient but we offer a very personalised service and we know our customers.
“It does offer a bit more personalisation and it’s an extension of our community. Farm shops, independent shops are crucial.”
“Yes you may be able to buy something cheaper [elsewhere] but has it been hand-reared? Has it been looked after? Is the care and attention there?”
Countryfile continues on BBC One on Sunday at 6pm.
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