Barnard Castle Farmers Market has been shortlisted amongst the best farm retailers in the UK in a national awards.

The Farm Retail Association announced its national finalists on Tuesday, with innovative and inspiring businesses from all corners of the country shortlisted across eight categories.

The Farmers Market of the Year category will see Barnard Castle go up against Cheshire's Abbey Leys Community Farmers Market and London's Marylebone Farmers Market.

Other categories include: Large Farm Shop of the Year (turnover over £1.5m); Small Farm Shop of the Year (turnover under £1.5m); Farm Café/Restaurant of the Year; PYO of the Year; and Associate Member of the Year.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Barnard Castle Farmers Market

Chair of the Farm Retail Association, Emma Mosey said: “Farm shops and farmers markets continue to be the nation’s retail beacons for sourcing fresh and nutritious produce with low food miles, from passionate and knowledgeable often family-run, independent businesses.

“It is right that we celebrate the crucial role that these invaluable food and drink retailers play at the heart of the communities they serve. Running throughout our finalists are inspiring stories of innovation, consistent quality produce and customer service excellence: terrific achievements and qualities that have been demonstrated during a challenging period for retailers amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Teesdale Cheesemakers at Barnard Castle Farmers Market

“Congratulations to everyone who is shortlisted and good luck. This is your time to shine, and we are looking forward to celebrating your achievements in March at our grand awards ceremony.”

The awards (sponsored by specialist retailer COOK) will take place on Tuesday, March 5 at Holiday Inn Peterborough West as part of the FRA’s annual Stronger Together event, 2024.

The ceremony will follow a day of behind-the-scenes retail tours, and conference day which will include topical workshops and expert guest speakers.

Other finalists from around the region include Fresh Retail, of Skipton, Just Desserts Yorkshire, of Shipley, Farmer Copleys, of Pontefract, Cedarbarn Farm Shop and Café, of Pickering.