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Food and drink update

Duck's Farm Shop, Portesham, Dorset Best Village Shop 2018 Duck's Farm Shop, Portesham, Dorset Best Village Shop 2018

The Dorset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England was very pleased to be sponsoring again the Best Village Shop competition

Dorset CPRE sponsored for the fifth year running the class Best Village Shop’, in the Best Dorset Village Competition run by Dorset Community Action. The winner was announced at an awards event in September 2018. The judges declared Duck's Farm Shop, Portesham, the winner, but Chapel Lane Stores in Abbotsbury came in as a worthy runner-up

For once the shops are holding their own

However, we can say the shops seem to be holding their own for once, with fewer closures than in recent years. One clear trend has been for more shops to belong to a symbol group, such as Spar, to help their buying. Another has been the higher proportion of quality local produce on sale, which we wholly applaud, although it is not always clearly marked as such, which is a pity. Overall customers seem more ready to appreciate the local convenience, and pay for it, as long as the shops are inviting, with friendly staff and enough stock. More shops are offering tea rooms too which boosts footfall in the shops as well. Overall we are hoping this competition will highlight the better retailers and show others what can be done too. The criteria used for this award were evidence of good customer service, the shop acting as a community hub, innovation in terms of product range and services, how attractive the shops are and how much local food they are selling and promoting.

We have started a campaign to promote quality local food and drink producers
In 2014 we launched a campaign to help Dorset village shops. This year we have also started a campaign to promote quality local food and drink producers, and we held our summer Open Day at the Langham Wine Estate with a number of food producers showing off their delicious foods to complement the award-winning sparkling wine made there. Therefore, please spend more in your village shops, but particularly on the wonderful local produce they showcase.

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