A POPULAR farm shop and cafe has been crowned the very best butchers in the north of England.

Fodder, based at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, was named North of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year in the national Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards 2020.

The accolade was announced during an online ceremony this week, with Fodder beating off fierce competition to cement its reputation among the country’s finest craft butcheries.

The judges said: “Fodder is an excellent business, showing innovation and community as well as charitable support at the centre of their business - a modern shop with a modern outlook that is continually searching for new ideas.”

All of Fodder’s profits help to fund the work of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society charity which supports and promotes the farming industry.

Grass-fed lamb from Liddle Family in Stainburn is among the choice cuts available from Fodder’s counter, alongside free range pork from Anna’s Happy Trotters at Howden and beef from Guy Cowling who farms at Pannal.

Heather Parry, managing director of Fodder, said: “We are thrilled that our butchery has been recognized as the North of England’s finest and one of the very best in the whole of the UK.”

Now in its 26th year, the awards are organised by the Meat Trades Journal and celebrate the service, craft skills and quality products of the UK’s independent butchers across 12 categories.

Heather said: “This award is a great endorsement of the quality of our meat which has been reared to perfection on the very best local farms, as well as the skills of our talented and knowledgeable butchery team who are able to advise customers on how best to cook our products when they get home.

"Our team works incredibly hard to create a beautiful counter every day and offer outstanding service too.”

Local butchers have become more important to feeding the nation as more people have shopped locally during successive coronavirus lockdowns.

All butchers across the UK will be celebrated during next month’s National Butcher’s Week, from March 8 to 14.

Heather added: “We have had wonderful feedback from customers over the last 12 months who have been very grateful for the service we have provided during a very difficult time for everybody. We’re grateful to all our customers for their support and it has been fabulous to welcome new customers who have discovered us for the first time.

“We really hope that this connection with local butchery and quality local meat continues long into the future."

Fodder was opened in 2009 as a response to the Foot and Mouth crisis that devastated farming. Providing a crucial market for independent family-run businesses, Fodder works with more than 430 local farmers and producers.

Fodder is open seven days a week with a one-way system and limited numbers to ensure a safe shopping experience. Click and collect is also available via fodder.co.uk.