LOCAL: Yeo Valley’s Farm Shop – Supporting Small Businesses

You have more than likely heard of Yeo Valley Organic the family owned, Somerset based dairy brand, that offers a wide range of organic, healthy, and natural products. Since 1994, it has established itself as the leading organic dairy brand and third largest yogurt brand in the UK. But did you know that Yeo Valley also has an online farm shop? 

Yeo Valley Organic has always had a strong sense of community spirit, whether that’s working with nature, the environment, charities or even their cows. Last year they launched the Yeo Valley Organic Farm Shop, which features handpicked products that are high quality and put nature first. However, this isn’t your typical farm shop, it is online and open 24/7 allowing customers to support small businesses and purchase products that great causes and meaning. A selection of the brands featured on the farm shop are also run by farmers that have chosen to diversify into other markets. 

We’ve highlighted a few brands that feature on their farm shop, that are based in the South-West region. 

Meet Fernhill Fibre: 
Fernhill Farm is located on the Mendips Hills very close to Yeo Valley, so close in fact that they have managed flocks of sheep on Yeo Valley’s land for more than 15 years. As first-generation farmers to Fernhill, Andy Wear and Jennifer Hunter are both passionate about working with nature and are retrained in regenerative farming since 2017.

As shepherd’s they both worship wool and are constantly exploring options on how best to utilise it on their farm, and within the products that they produce for the Yeo Valley Farm Shop. “Wool is a great product from sheep farming, that deserves to be more valued,” says Andy.

Their flock consists of Romney X Shetland sheep selected for their organic wool. Andy is an award-winning sheep shearer that has developed into a lifetime passion, with him even representing England at international competitions. Jen is also focused on re-educating and helping others recognise the full potential of wool’s natural resource “our holistic message is products with provence, our key goal within our fibre business is to reposition wool as a primary product.”Fernhill Fibre offer an array of products on the Yeo Valley Farm Shop, including woven scarfs, knitted mittens, felted items, yarns and more – ready for the winter season ahead of us.

Meet Hembridge Organics:
To some, wonky fruit and vegetables are undesirable, but not to Kerry Dodd, owner of Hembridge Organics. based in a small annex kitchen beside her cottage near Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Kerry noticed a gap in the market, “being organic is very important to me, as I like to be able to read an ingredients label to know exactly what is inside that particular product. That’s when I realised nobody seemed to be producing organic, local preserves.” 

Sourcing her “ugly” produce from five Soil Association certified local organic suppliers, she only uses fruit and veg that is either too large, ripe, or a bit disfigured that otherwise would be abandoned, and yet it is perfect for making award winning chutneys and jams. “I hate waste!” Kerry despairs, “but I realised that these “undesirable” organic products still have great flavour and taste that would be ideal for my chutneys and jams. It is also satisfying to know that the growers are getting something for their otherwise unwanted produce.” Hembridge Organics award winning plum and brandy jam, raspberry jam and ale house chutney are all available on Yeo Valley’s Farm Shop. 

Meet Somerset Lavender: 

Switching from milking cows to harvesting lavender fields, former dairy farmer Francis and Judith Green, now invest their time and effort within the soothing 10 acres fields of lavender near Radstock, Somerset. The fields feature over 50,000 lavender plants and over 20 different varieties that have plenty of bees pollinating to even make their own honey.  Originally planted in 2003, the lavender is now used to make an array of beautifully scented products from dried lavender, essential oils, pillow mists and candles. 

The second-generation family farm is now welcoming the next generation with their daughter Amy, helping to make their products, and son Chris, tending to the harvest and general upkeep of the lavender. “The most rewarding part of our job is watching people’s wellbeing improve because of our products; whether that’s helping them to relax, rejuvenate or sleep from the pressures of everyday life.”

Yeo Valley’s Farm Shop provides a new platform that allow these businesses to sell their products to a wider audience, that they may not normally be able to reach. Yeo Valley is really pleased and proud to be able to offer locally made products from businesses that they know and personally admire. 

Visit the Yeo Valley Farm Shop to find out more: Yeo Valley Farm Shop
Don’t forget if you collect Yeokens, use them to get 20% off everything within the Farm Shop

Minerva Studio
Author: Minerva Studio