MP visits Charlie's Farm Shop
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited Charlie's Farm Shop in Bury on Friday (7 June).
Charlie Hughes, the proprietor and third generation farmer of Southview Farm, has been nominated for Farmer of the Year in this year's Sussex Food and Drink Awards.
Charlie and his girlfriend Sarah Butler welcomed Mr Herbert to their new shop. The purpose built premises provide substantially more retail space than the farm's previous shop.
The shop sells meat and dairy products from the farm including cream, ice cream and milk. The meat counter is managed by dedicated butcher Mike Davis. His traditional skills have earned him a nomination as this year's Butcher of the Year in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards.
The shop is stocked with local produce, and Mr Herbert was delighted to see food and drink from the Arundel and South Downs area. Wines and ciders are from Stopham vineyards, artisan breads are from the Hungry Guest, tomatoes are from Nutbourne and eggs are from Cowfold amongst other fresh and handmade produce.
Mr Herbert was also invited to see the dairy farm's new robot milking system, which enables cows to be milked automatically, increasing yields and reducing the cost of labour.
Charlie Hughes said: "It's great that Nick has a real interest in the local farming community. It was a pleasure to show him around the farm and discuss how we are trying to overcome market pressures by marketing our own produce."
Nick Herbert said: "Charlie's farm shop is really impressive and I am sure it will be a huge success. It's a true farm shop, with meat and dairy products from his own farm. And it's great to see so much other West Sussex produce on the shelves, too.
"With a high tech milking system, his dairy business and now this new farm shop, Charlie is showing how modern farming businesses can adapt and thrive. All credit to him, and I hope the farm shop is the success it deserves to be.
"I also hope that people will vote for Charlie and Mike in the Sussex Food and Drink awards, and I wish them both luck in the contest."
1. Voting for the 2013/14 Sussex Food and Drinks opened on 6 June and runs until 13 September. For more information see http://www.sussexfoodawards.biz
2. For more information about Southview Farm please see their website http://www.southviewfarmdairy.co.uk/
3. For more information about Charlies Farm Shop please see their website http://www.charliesfarmshop.co.uk/