Supporting Farm Retailers through Coronavirus

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 upcoming online workshops created for farm retailers.

Please contact Jenny Rose at with any queries or suggestions.

First impressions count – Merchandising for Food Retail & Caterers

Tuesday 14th July, 6pm

FREE for FRA Members

Judy Roberts has spent her career in food and catering businesses, working over the past 11 years in merchandising and product sourcing. In this session, Judy will help us think specifically about how our layout affects our turnover and customer experience. Could we lay things out more effectively to make sure we sell more of the things we want to, and less of the things we don’t, while ensuring that the customer has a great experience while shopping or eating with us?

Judy will help us to appreciate how a little customer behavioural knowledge can really benefit our bottom lines, and, as we enter this new trading phase of retail and catering, that our understanding of what lies behind consumer purchasing decisions will really impact our ability to survive (and indeed thrive) during this period.

The session will be followed by a Q&A and will last circa 1 hour. Free for members of the Farm Retail Association. We hope you can join us!

To register, please e-mail

About Judy Roberts: Judy is the brains behind Right Product Right Place, a new supplier partner to the Farm Retail Association. Judy specialises in providing advice, training and physical makeovers of many catering-led, retail outlets in order to create the best possible front-of-house experience for customers.

Christmas 2020 – planning for profit

Thursday 16th July, 1pm – 4pm

3 hour workshop, £40 + VAT

Hosted by Elliot Rich, The Alternative Board (TAB). Elliot specialises in business coaching &  development, and works with several FRA members including chairman Rob Copley.

This 3 hour online session has been designed to help you focus your mind for Christmas 2020. Coronavirus may have delayed your planning for the festive season, but now’s the time to be getting prepared. Elliot Rich from The Alternative Board will guide the group through a relaxed yet inspiring afternoon session.

  • 1.00pm: Welcome and review of Christmas 2019 – sharing best practice and break out ‘rooms’ for discussion groups
  • 2.00pm: Brainstorm Christmas 2020 – what is new and up and coming (trends and increased spending from customers to make it extra special)
  • 2.45am: Screen break 15 mins
  • 3.00pm: Develop your plan for 2020 – breakout into small groups to discuss your thoughts and aspirations to go large!
  • 3.45pm: Round up and summary followed by close (4pm)

Places on this session are priced at £40+ VAT and available on a first come first served basis.

Making Sense of Merchandising – 90 minute bitesize courses

Part 1 – Tuesday 28th July, 2.30pm – 4pm

Part 2 – Tuesday 4th August 2.30pm – 4pm

£30 (No VAT) for both sessions

Delivered by Judy Roberts, Right Product, Right Place. Judy specialises in providing advice, training and physical makeovers of many catering-led, retail outlets in order to create the best possible front-of-house experience for customers.

Part 1: Start to understand how to lay out your retail areas and catering service counters to achieve better profitability and sales, while improving the experience for customers

  • Understand what Merchandising is and how it can help to improve performance
  • Gain insight into the influences on today’s customer and their buying decisions
  • Look at the importance of impulse sales on the performance of your spaces
  • Identify which areas within your spaces are the ones to focus on
  • Learn strategies for increasing spend per head

Part 2: Discover how to practically make the changes in layout required to achieve that improved profitability and sales levels

  • Gain further insight into how we can influence our customer to buy the things we want them to
  • Learn how to create simple displays to bring your spaces to life
  • Discover simple merchandising techniques for filling shelves and counters most effectively
  • Review practical examples of typical food display counters to help make the best use of space

Win a Free Virtual Merchandising Consultation – Following Part 2 we will be running a competition to get you to showcase your new skills. The winner will get a free session with Judy to advise virtually on layout tips and tweaks for your farm shop’s café or restaurant space.

Previous sessions – watch back

Susan Hallam

How can we use this opportunity to build our social following and keep new customers

Tuesday 28th April, 6.00pm

Hosted by Susan Hallam MBE, CEO of award winning Digital Marketing  Agency Hallam

It is clear the COVID19 crisis isn’t going to blow over any time soon, so your business needs to be rapidly realigning the way you communicate with your customers. Creating the right kind of messaging, defining a new purpose and focus is key to social media success. In this 40 minute session, Susan will help you to reflect upon and create a plan for:

  • Defining your new social tone of voice
  • Creating the right kinds of content
  • Updating your social media plan
  • Your top 5 social media steps to take for your business to thrive when time get tough

Exploring the challenges of re-opening your cafe/restaurant when the time is right

PLUS bringing back your furloughed team

Tuesday 19th May, 6.00pm


Hosted by Elliot Rich, The Alternative Board (TAB). Elliot will share his practical advice on how other sectors are considering the return to work for some or all of their people and how this relates to Farm Shop Retail members.

Everyone wanted to talk about furlough and now no one wants to talk about furlough!

The key question now is how and when do we return to work, is there a new norm and has this lockdown period masked some of the challenges we were already facing some months before in our business which have just been kicked down the road.

Topics include:

  • Your confidence to bring some or all of your team back
  • Essential preparations for safe physical distancing at work
  • What does re-opening a café or PYO look like
  • Re-establishing working relationships & expectations
  • Marketing & PR – sustaining loyalty

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