New products

By Katie Thear

It may be necessary to have planning permission from the local authority to open a farm shop, unless an existing building is used. It also depends on whether you are selling your own produce or that from another source. In the case of the latter, permission may be needed and the local authority will advise.

Farm-gate sales are popular with consumers, but do rely on car access. Adequate car parking and turning space is needed, as well as clear road signs. Good signs make a lot of difference. Motorists are far more likely to stop if they see an attractive sign, rather than a quickly scrawled offering.

Good Signage is Essential

Signs further down the road, warning motorists that the site is coming up are also necessary. These should be placed in such a way that they are clearly seen from the road and in plenty of time for the driver to react safely, not with a last-minute swerve.

Equally important are opening times, making it clear, from the road, whether it is open or closed. There is nothing more annoying than turning in through someone’s gate in response to a sign outside and then finding that the site is closed.

If selling produce by weight, be aware of ‘weights and measures’ legislation, as well as labelling and trade descriptions. Food products are also covered by food safety regulations. Contact the local Environmental Health Officer and Trading Standards for further information.

Local authority permission may be required for erecting signs on the roadside, and officials will also wish to satisfy themselves that there is no traffic hazard involved.