FEBRUARY 27, 2008: A new initiative to promote the sale of farm produce is set to take off.

The Friendly Farmer aims to invest £50 million in sites across the UKand will be offering start-up franchises and training to help farmersmarket their produce.The group says 500 new farmshops opened in the past two years, but many shut because of lack of experience in siting and running such businesses.The Friendly Farmer concept was inspired by the success of a consortium of farmers selling on the autobahn network in Germany.MORE: email Robert Elwes at marinaelwes@tesco.net

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