Local Farm Shops Big Hit With Swedish Farmers07 January 2014
SWEDEN – Swedish cattle farmers are hailing efforts to promote local produce as a success, citing farm shops as a great retail option.
Farm shops success in the country’s most northerly county of Norrbotten is revitalising farm income and prompting dairy farmers to focus on beef.
Outlets are now up and running in Piteå, Luleå and Älvsby, selling beef and lamb at prices that reflect cost and are passed back to the producers.
Cattle farmers are suggesting that local consumers want to buy local meat and are patriotic to regional produce.
Stefan and Berit Hardeslius are dairy farmers in Älvsbyn, although are looking at selling more beef through farm shops as a less labour intensive way of earning a living.
This suits both their economic and social needs, explains Mr Hardselius.
“We are getting on in years, and nobody wants to buy the farm, so we are spending more on meat production instead. It is not as labour intensive, and seems more profitable if you can make withdrawals and sell under a brand,” said Mr Hardselius.
The couple acknowledged the market for quality local meat, with many people willing to pay extra.
This sentiment is shared by many farmers in the area who recognise the importance of the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) in doing the groundwork to setting up the initiative.
Berit Hardselius said: “It is incredibly valuable that LRF has instigated this project. Showcasing local produce is great.
“We believe this is a long term trend and are now selling more direct to consumers.”
LRF business developer, Hakan Stenmark, puts the success down to farm shops achieving better margins than slaughterhouses can offer.
He said: “As local shops sell more meat, the slaughterhouses will be forced to start paying a fair settlement price. We are already seeing this starting to happen."
TheMeatSite News Desk