2016 FARMA Conference and Trade Show

The 2016 FARMA Conference and Trade Show 

"Tales from a crisp ‘farmer’ who’s turned to gin…travels to farm shops with stories to tell… an informative huddle for farmers’ markets…, trade stands… great speakers... a Movable Feast and meeting old friends and making new ones are all part of this year’s conference. Chester is one of the best examples of a walled city anywhere in Europe, a classic, contemporary city bursting with must see treasures, 2000 years of history and spectacular shopping (sorry guys!). Take a few days away from the hustle and bustle and wait to be inspired.

See you there - mine’s a large G&T."

Sally Jackson: FARMA Chairman


The Queens Hotel, Chester

28th February to the 1st March, 2016

Don’t Miss

  • The  moveable feast on the Sunday night kicks the week off with three courses  at three different restaurants! Meeting new friends as you wander the  streets of Chester for your dinner.
  • Inspiration on one of three tours of  impressive retailing business. Whether its events, classic retailing or being an attraction these tours will leave you empowered and buzzing with ideas.
  • Customer loyalty blown apart; three-way debate  on what customer loyalty is and how to create sticky customers, led by bestselling author Philip Graves.
  • The value of the humble potato, William Chase will give a warts and all overview of what he has achieved with the humble potato.
  • Showing off your knife skills; second year of the butchery skills competition will be 'testing the metal' of farm-shop butchers from across the UK. Could you learn a thing or two from them?
  • Sign off a deal or two at our dedicated trade show space.


The 2016 FARMA Conference: Programme






Tour 1 - Retail is Detail: Bodnant, Rhug and Bellis Brothers

Learn from some of the best farm shops in Wales

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre

Discover the true taste of Wales at the Bodnant Food centre, opened in 2012, in a spectacular setting on the river Conwy. Take a look behind the scenes of the complex which includes a farm shop (producing their own cheese, butter, ice cream, cakes, savouries), Furnace tearoom, Hayloft restaurant, cookery school and luxury accommodation. See how championing your region (or in this case, country) can attract over 250,000 visitors per annum.

Rhug Organic Farm

From portakabins on the side of the road positioned to catch tourists coming in to Wales, this estate run, organic business has developed into a beautiful farm shop and Bison Grill Bistro without losing any of its charm. Producing their own lamb, beef, chickens, geese and lately, wild bison.

Bellis Brothers, Wrexham

This farm shop and garden centre located in the beautiful Dee Valley has grown from an extensive PYO business. The emphasis on strawberries runs right through the business. A real Fergie tractor takes pride of place positioned in amongst the year round, homegrown fruit & vegetables.

Tour 2 - Event Retailing: Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, Chester Zoo and Kenyon Hall

Find out how events & activities can boost your retail spend

Cheshire Farm Ice Cream

The Fell family has been creating award-winning Cheshire Farm Ice Cream for nearly 30 years. As the business started to grow, people would visit the farm in order to purchase the delicious ice cream and with growing numbers. The Ice Cream Farm tourist attraction was born. The site, which sits adjacent to the Cheshire Farm Ice Cream production unit that supplies over 1,000 pubs, restaurants and retail units throughout the UK, has expanded dramatically with time and currently attracts over half a million visitors a year. These huge visitor numbers make it the most visited ‘free to enter’ attraction of its kind in the North West. In addition to all of this, the site, which has recently had a £4 million redevelopment, is considered to contain the world’s largest purpose-built ice cream parlour and Europe’s largest sand and water play.

Chester Zoo

With visitor numbers ever increasing, the challenge is to help release the extra retail spend from each and every one. The Retail Manager will show us how this can be done through catering and retail.

Kenyon Hall

With facilities to match the high quality of the produce that has been the bedrock of the business for over 30 years, Kenyon Hall offers an eco-friendly farm shop and a relaxing cafe serving home-made food and aims to offer the best choice of Pick Your Own fruit and veg in the northwest. With a spacious outdoor picnic area and large children’s play area, Kenyon Hall offers a great family day out in the English countryside.

Tour 3 - Retail through Catering: Bashall Barns, Red House and Huntleys

Bashall Barn

The emphasis here is on the food & events. 25 weddings and 20 major parties a year are the main driver for this successful business, creating a turnover ratio of 80:20 between restaurant and farm shop. Learn how Simon copes with the demands of catering/hosting for a wedding venue while running a restaurant and farm shop. Simon also finds time to make his own ice cream and run frequent evening events.

Red House Farm

In 2013 the tea rooms were doubled in size with an open kitchen and an enclosed outdoor seating area.The business has been running a summer maize maze since 2002 and it still runs to this day. They also have activities at Easter, and October half-term. What has put this business on the map has been the number of parties that they host on a weekend. During the peak of the season (March – Mid November) they run 12 parties a weekend (6 per day) and can run different types depending on the age. Jonny will tell us how to cope with seasonal variations in catering planning and how to please those demanding 7 year olds!

Huntley’s Country Stores

Showcasing their own meat this food hall and restaurant has developed into a full retail complex. Find out how to work out how to give your customers a value for money menu and not be scared to charge.

Trade Show

FARMA members have asked that we make the event easier for them to attend the whole show. This year the trade stands will be incorporated into the conference. There will be trade stands located in all conference rooms as well as the breakout session rooms and will be incorporated alongside where the butchery competition will be taking place. We hope that this will create a friendly and intimate event which will provide the farmers and shopkeepers with the help, support and ideas they need.

Please find attached a full brochure which sets out the costs and booking process. You will note that the price of the trade show spaces have not been changed from last year! The trade stand spaces have sold out now, but email us if you would like to be put on a reserve list in case anyone drops out.