The purpose of this case was to help verify and support consumer direct initiatives in line with strategic priority, market development of the North West Food Alliance (NWFA) agri‐food sector strategy for the North West. To achieve this, a study was made into the viability, sustainability and future development of farmers’ markets in North West England and also a consumer attitude survey into direct selling initiatives such as farm outlets. There was a correlation in the type of consumer frequenting farmers’ markets and farm outlets. Most people purchasing were female, aged 55+ and retired. A total of 36 per cent of people heard of the farm outlet by word of mouth or just drove past the outlet. Therefore, convenience of parking was important to most consumers along with the presentation of the shop. Consumers’ perceptions of purchasing at a farm outlet were that they were purchasing fresh, quality, tasty and healthy produce that was often from a local source but not necessarily. Consumers did not always expect the produce to be cheaper. Many expressed an interest in the availability of refreshments – café facilities.
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