The wholesale division of UK fruit and veg supplier Total Produce has been shortlisted for the national Farm Retail Awards' 'supplier of the year' title.

Finalists have been shortlisted from all corners of the country across seven categories; from the ‘Rising Star Award’ which celebrates newcomers to the industry, to the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other categories include: Large Farm Shop of the Year (turnover over £1.5m); Small Farm Shop of the Year (turnover under £1.5m); Farmers’ Market of the Year; Farm Café/Restaurant of the Year; Trade Supplier Member of the Year.

Chairman of the Farm Retail Association (FRA), Rob Copley said: “This could be our toughest awards yet, the calibre of entries is so high, this will certainly be a difficult one to judge. Good luck to all our finalists, we look forward to an exciting ceremony in March!”

The awards (sponsored by specialist retailer COOK) will take place on Tuesday 1 March 2022 at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead as part of the FRA’s annual conference, Stronger Together 2022. The ceremony will follow a day of behind-the-scenes retail tours at the North East’s best farm shops.

The conference day, Wednesday 2 March, will include practical workshops and guest speakers including Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks Chocolate, now a $100 million a year brand; and Anna Jones a farmer’s daughter and journalist, who’s worked on BBC One’s Countryfile, Radio 4’s Farming Today and reporting on agricultural issues for BBC News and the World Service.

Established in 1979, The FRA (formerly known as FARMA) is the national body which represents farm shops, farmers markets and pick-your-own enterprises across the UK.