If you are selling fresh produce by the roadside or maybe on your farm premises, you want every one of your customers to enjoy the freshness and taste that you have worked hard to create, and you want them to come back again.
The problem with using your old farm buildings or any other building that was constructed some time ago, is that there have been numerous asbestos claims as a result of exposure, which is just one reason why you want to protect your customers and your assets from harm.
Customer safety a top priority
When it comes to selling your farm produce at a regular market or a temporary roadside venue, there is always going to be an inherent responsibility on you to ensure that every customer you serve, has the safest and enjoyable experience possible.
It is part of the universal appeal of farmer’s markets that all of the fresh food that you are selling will be arranged in such a way that customers can interact and try or handle a sample of the food, before deciding to buy.
The obvious dilemma here is that while customers clearly enjoy the opportunity to try some samples, this immediately presents a major foods safety issue. The moment that you take a knife to something, a whole host of food hygiene regulations come into play, covering both the food and the condition of the knife itself.
Access and other safety issues
It is right to focus attention on food hygiene issues and ensure that you are compliant with all of the current regulations, but there are also other safety concerns that need consideration.
One of the questions that you need to ask yourself, is what happens if a customer is injured as a result of visiting your farm premises or market stand?
A good starting point in terms of providing advice on making sure that your business has covered all of the bases, is to make sure that you have the right level of insurance that provides you with protection against most foreseeable potential circumstances.
Comprehensive liability insurance for your business should provide you with insurance cover relating to any claims made for injuries sustained by employees, guests and customers, provided you were not negligible in your duty of care.
You might also want to look at obtaining product liability insurance. This provides you with cover against illness or injury caused by someone eating your farm products.
Better customer experience
There are some simple steps that you can take which will give your customer a better experience, and also provide a level of protection against a claim at the same time.
Think about access to your premises or stand and make sure that people of all ages and abilities can reach you easily and safely. Even small touches like providing better quality plastic bags which are less likely to break or spill, will enhance the customer experience and reduce the prospect of a potential problem.
It is never a good idea to take chances with safety, and it is far better to remembered for your great produce than because of an incident that prompts a claim.
Amelie Edwards lives on a dairy farm with her husband and four kids. She grew up at farmers markets and has now created her own business selling produce direct from farm to customer.