KEELHAM Farm Shop was named an International Green Champion at the Green Apple Awards ceremony attended by hundreds of other businesses and organisations held at the Houses of Parliament.

The Skipton farm shop received the overall ‘green champion’ award in the retail section for its ‘veg exchange scheme’ described as ‘genius’ by the judges.

The win means Keelham will be entered in ‘The Green Book’ the only work of reference produced every year on environmental best practice distributed to environment professionals, universities and libraries by The Green Organisation.

Describing Keelham, the judges said: “This independent outlet is known for doing things the green way. All produce is sold loose to help reduce packing and food-waste, and even the building is recycled. However, their smartest initiative is the Veg Exchange whereby the public are invited to bring in their own excess garden produce to exchange for farm shop merchandise – genius.”

Victoria Robertshaw, co-owner of Keelham Farm Shop said: “We are so happy that what started as a small idea 10 years ago has really been taken to heart by not just our local customers, but the wider international green community, leading to this recognition as one of the International Green Champions for 2019. Our Veg Exchange scheme is just part of our greater focus on helping our customers to reduce waste and we share this award with all those gardeners who have brought in their extra gooseberries and currants, courgettes and runner beans over the years.

“We will continue to look for new ways in which to combat food waste, support the local economy and the environment and help customers to be more eco-friendly.”

The Green Apple Environment Awards are the annual international campaigns to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world. This is the 25th year of the internationally recognised Awards, which received more than 2,000 entries this year.

Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said: “I’m delighted that Keelham have been so successful in the national Green Apple Awards. To become the overall retail champion is an amazing achievement. It’s also great to hear how impressed the judges were with the quality of entries from Craven. “We launched these awards for the first time this year and we were thrilled with the number of inspiring stories from organisations around the district. We will be launching the awards again in the New Year and would encourage even more local organisations to take part.”