Supporting Farm Retailers through Coronavirus

The nation’s Farm Shops and Farmers Markets are working incredibly hard to adapt on behalf of their customers in these challenging times. All striving to serve fantastic quality, fresh local food in a safe setting. A huge thanks for all your hard work – your efforts to feed the nation are hugely appreciated by us and your customers.

This hub of online resources has been collated to help you during these times. This page will continually be updated with support packs, info sheets and useful articlesplus details of any relevant legislations and government updates. 

Please contact Jenny Rose at with any queries or suggestions.

Government guidance for food businesses on coronavirus

Government guidance tells us that it is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging. 

The FSA has produced guidance for takeaways and food delivery businesses in response to COVID-19. The guidance covers taking an order, hygiene and allergen guidance for food delivery and delivering food orders.

Food Standards Scotland has created a Q&A in relation to COVID-19 and food. This includes steps to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in food businesses, cleaning of premises and equipment, and employee safety relating to social distancing and PPE.

Online support sessions

We’re committed to supporting you and creating opportunities for you to share your experiences, learn from one-another as well as hearing from industry experts. Please feel free to register for our FREE upcoming online workshops created for farm retailers.

You can also watch some of these sessions back including:

  • How can we use this opportunity to build our social following and keep new customers?
  • Exploring the challenges of re-opening your cafe/restaurant when the time is right

Planning for re-opening your cafe/restaurant

Before re-opening, restaurants will need to review how they work and employ new practices and procedures, businesses of all types need to adapt their operations, review employee practices and consider the design of their business to ensure physical distancing and the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Check out our guidance docs and helpful services collated with the help of our preferred partners. Find out more

Click and Collect

Online retail, click and collect & home deliveries

Where to start? Are you considering setting up a click and collect or call and collect service for your customers? Or operating a home delivery option? Take a look at our resource hub that has been developed since Coronavirus hit, exploring:

  • Discussion group (notes and presentation) among 30 farm retailers talking through the positives and pitfalls of online retail and home deliveries
  • A helpful information pack exploring Click and collect, Online shop, Order and collect developed by the EPOS Bureau
  • An easy to set up online retail platform implemented by FRA partner Payment Sense, including an example of this in action from Lower Ladysden Farm
  • Deliverappy – a home shopping app for independent retail businesses such as farm shops and garden centres wanting an instant smartphone based shopping outlet for their businesses.
  • Safety tips for employees out on the road – make sure you haven’t forgotten any safety measures or legal requirements
  • 25% off on car hire

Farmers markets

  • The FRA have been holding regular dedicated session for our market members discussing how to safely open and operate during the Coronavuris crisis. If you’d benefit from being part of this, please contact
  • We also have a Facebook group for you to chat amongst yourselves and share ideas and support about how you are overcoming challenges. All welcome, please request to join here.
  • Kerry Rankine from Growing Communities’ farmers’ market in Stoke Newington, London. kindly shared an update on the measures they are taking – see document here.
  • Our friends at NMTF have produced a really helpful bounceback guide for markets, you can see this here.
  • Kent Farmers Market Association have collated some really helpful resources, which may very well be applicable to your own sites. Take a look here. With thanks to Bob Taylor.
  • Take a look at what London Farmers Markets have been doing to operate safely during the pandemic here. With thanks to Cheryl Cohen.
  • Listen to the Farmers Markets & Coronavirus piece on Farming Today, 27.3.20.

Diversifying into ready meals or take aways

Mantle Packaging’s machinery range is perfect for farm shops who wish to diversify and provide ready meals or take away food for their customers.  With a range of food trays, pizza discs, and lidding film, Mantle Packaging can provide a complete solution for all your food packaging needs.  Their online shop details their entire range, and provides additional information on the sustainability of their food packaging products. Find out more or contact…


Do you need mobile and remote payment options?

FRA partner iZettle can help with card reading machines; online payment links that you can send to your customer by text message, Whatsapp, social media or email; online invoicing; gift cards; and a dedicated support hotline.

Calves Lane Farm & pyo

PYO’s – things to consider during the pandemic

The FRA have been holding regular dedicated session for our PYO members discussing how to safely open and operate during the Coronavuris crisis. We also undertook a benchmarking survey for PYO members to compare their plans against one another. If you’d benefit from being part of this, please contact

Online ticketing options

Limiting visits via an online ticketing system can be a useful tool. There are many ticking systems available, however we recommend the following:

FRA Chairman Rob Copley uses ‘Merlin’ for his Pumpkin Festival and finds is well priced and easy to use. They have provided some helpful PYO specific guidelines HERE.

The FRA also partner with digitickets, which is used by many of our members. To discuss their options you can visit their website or contact

Guild of Fine Food – support resources

The FRA are proud  to work alongside the Guild of Fine Food. They have created an extremely helpful support page with fact sheets, printable signage, and a map of producers, retailers and distributors who either have stock or need supplies.

Piston luxury hand sanitiser – perfect for farm shops

Piston normally stock farm shops with their range of luxury gins. They’ve diversified to create a luxury hand sanitiser for your customers. Presented in an eco-friendly pouch, and made with the purest aloe vera for a moisturising finish. Available in 100ml, 250ml and 500ml pouches. Wholesale prices available, e-mail for further info.


The impact of Coronavirus on employment law

Kerry and Dan Wilson run Bourne Valley PYO. Kerry has also been qualified as a lawyer for many years, now specialising in employment law. Kerry has been working hard to offer up to the minute advice on the new guidelines and legislative provisions surrounding employment.

Read her report for advice on:

  • What employment law changes have been made?
  • What is ‘furlough leave’?
  • The government’s job retention scheme
  • Deciding which staff go on furlough leave
  • Annual leave and salaries

Deputy users

If you use Deputy, please log into your account and message the chat support asking for COVID relief. Deputy will offer you 50% off for March and 100% off for April with delayed payment to May. This will ensure you are still able to communicate with everyone of your staff without taking users off the account during this uncertain time.

Malcolm Scott consultants

Andrew Burton, from Malcolm Scott Consultants, an FRA associate member, specialises in  planning and business operational needs. He has been reviewing the affects which the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak may be having on Farm Shops. Andrew has shared his observations from his research, which our FRA members may like to consider in support of their business at this current time.

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