IGD’s first farmer training workshop took place on Wednesday (31 January) in York. It is the first in a national programme of 25 workshops run by IGD and NFU.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide farmers with the latest research findings on consumer behaviour, retail structure and the foodservice sector. This will help improve farmers’ awareness of the food chain beyond the farm gate.

The workshop also included a tour of an Asda store in Monks Cross. Here delegates learnt about the company’s day to day operations and how it is responding to customers’ needs by ‘walking the store’ and meeting with representatives from Asda.

The workshop was attended by farmers and directors of farmer controlled businesses who are looking at ways of developing their businesses to better meet the changing needs of the consumer.

Richard Hutchins, Business Manager of IGD’s Consumer Unit said “Farmers and growers need to better understand the many routes to market and the huge opportunities for example those which are present in foodservice. New research published by IGD predicts that by 2025 the proportion of sales via foodservice could equal and begin to overtake food retail sales in the UK.”

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Joanne Denney, Chief Executive IGD, concluded, “IGD is well established as a training and education body on subjects that bring the chain together. We draw on experience from every stage of the supply chain and seek to encourage best practice and greater consumer responsiveness.”

Safeway and Tesco are also hosting workshops under the national programme which has received a £150,000 grant from MAFF as part of Agriculture Minister Nick Brown’s drive to help improve the competitiveness of UK farming.

For further information please contact Jane Beard Tel: 01923 851910, mobile 07770 640448 or Catherine Ellwood, Tel: 01923 851916.


  1. IGD is the leading research and education organisation for the food and grocery industry. Its membership is drawn from the total grocery supply chain, including retail, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, catering, packaging companies and primary producers. IGD also has close links with consumer organisations.
  2. Visit the IGD website at www.igd.com
  3. The NFU is the leading democratic organisation representing the interests of farmers and growers in England and Wales. Its central objective is to promote the interests of those agricultural and horticultural businesses producing high quality food, drink and crop products for customers both at home and abroad.