A fair trade scheme to raise local farmers' profile is being piloted in Yorkshire.

The Farexchange project, led by the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, aims initially to market pork and beef on the strength of its local origins.

A recruitment drive at last week's Great Yorkshire Show turned up six livestock farmers interested in collaborating on the scheme. The next step is to identify food processors or consumer outlets in the region that would be able to add value to local produce.

Short local supply chains could capitalise on consumer concern over long-distance food haulage, said Yorkshire Forward board member Barry Dodd. The presence of local produce could also encourage new food manufacturers into the region, he added.

"Farmers and growers need to work closely with customers and other businesses further along the supply chain to find ways to future-proof their companies by anticipating customer demands," he said.

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