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Buying local food is key to restoring trust says Bridgette

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

  • 'Lady in Beef' Bridgette Clamp, who runs a farm shop in West Cornwall, believes people can trust local food

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At a West Cornwall farm shop where the distance food has travelled is generally measured in metres not miles, trust is the concept at the heart of Buy Local.

Bridgette Clamp, the third generation of her family to farm at Higher Trenowin, says customers have confidence in locally produced food and that is what brings them back.

She threw her support behind the Western Morning News Buy Local campaign, which aims to encourage companies and consumers to source their produce from Devon and Cornwall.

"It's about trust," she said. "We can say exactly where the meat people buy has come from.

"If we say beef has been hung for three weeks, then people know that it has been hung for three weeks because you build up a relationship with customers and they trust you."

The farm which Bridgette and her husband Steve run is perched on the hilltops between St Ives and Penzance.

The shop started life as a trailer at the end of the lane stocked with surplus vegetables and staffed by an honesty box.

That was nearly six years ago and it has now an outbuilding equipped with its own kitchen so Bridgette can produce her own popular line of cakes and sausage rolls, which have a loyal clientele.

Pride of place in the shop is the chalkboard which notes the often tiny distances the food has travelled to go on sale.

"We have fresh cauliflower on sale for 50 pence," she said. "They are twice that in the supermarkets and they have travelled up and down the country.

"Our caulis have come 50 yards from the vegetable patch.

"It proves that it's a myth farm shops are expensive."

The horsemeat scandal has brought new customers into the shop, said Bridgette, who is a member of Ladies in Beef, a group of female beef farmers who care passionately about British beef.

Meanwhile in the latest twist in the horsemeat saga, the world's biggest food manufacturer, Nestle, said its supplier caught up in a horsemeat recall in Italy, Spain and France is not used for the UK market, but it is checking on the status of local testing.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said yesterday that the food retail industry was "absolutely determined" to restore confidence in its products.

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