Cross Lanes Farm Shop

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Cross Lanes Farm Shop's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Cross Lanes Farm Shop is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Director Peter Coverdale
A sustainable building in a
tranquil setting
Cross Lanes Organic Farm is a family-run business with an
award-winning farm shop and organic restaurant that
supports local producers. In the farm shop it has an in-
house butchers, delicatessen, bakery, general store and craft
section. It is run and built entirely on ecological principles with
organic, local and green thinking at the heart of everything
the organisation does. Directors Peter and Susan Coverdale tell
TheParliamentary Review
more about their work and ambitions.
After raising the necessary capital and gaining planning permission to begin
construction on the shop, we discovered that there was a covenant on the
land put in place by the previous owner, and permission to proceed further
was denied. It was only when the family solicitor, by chance, discovered that
the covenant had not been registered at the Land Registry, that work could
thankfully go ahead. We lost almost a year renegotiating finances while the
delay meant we began trading at the same time the country was moving into a
recession. Before completion, we found out that planning permission for a sign
on the road had been turned down because of the objections from the highway
authority, who had implemented a new policy stating unnecessary signage could
A petition was raised highlighting the fact that we were a new business
employing over 20 people, and although it was signed by hundreds of people,
it was to no avail. It took a local traffic police officer witnessing a near multiple
collision as a result of a driver who was searching for our farm shop suddenly
»Directors: Peter and Susan
»Established in 2011
»Located in the outskirts
of Barnard Castle, County
»Services: An organic
restaurant, farm shop and
»No. of employees: 30
Cross Lanes Farm
Highlighting best practice
breaking hard, to realise signage was
the safer option. Works started in
February 2011, with a grand opening
in October 2011. Although several
thousand pounds over budget, the
project was completed in less than
nine months.
The organic way
The continued ethos of Cross Lanes
is to promote and support the local
economy, while providing high-quality
organic produce wherever possible.
In addition to our organic restaurant,
we have an organic bakery, a ready
meal range, a butchers shop and fresh
fruit and vegetable department. Our
fantastic wine selection is primarily
organic; however, in order to support
our British wine and spirit producers
and the excellent range of local
microbreweries, we look at quality and
provenance first.
With the growing challenges around
obesity, sugar, diabetes, heart
problems and other related health
issues, customers are turning to food
they can trust. Organic provides this
option, by being legally certified,
strictly controlled and traceable. We
position ourselves on the frontline
for continuing this work through
innovation and research into how
health, provenance and conscious
consumers are key in driving this
healthy change. The knowledge we
gain we pass onto our buyer and put
into our products such as our fantastic
range of healthy nutritious meals,
catering for vegans, vegetarians,
diabetics and people with various
Food glorious food
The restaurant is at the core of the
business, using organic, fresh, wild,
local and home-grown ingredients,
all lovingly prepared on site by our
chefs. The restaurant also features
a traditional wood-fired pizza
oven. During the summer months
our restaurant spills out into the
garden, where customers can take
in the beautiful views and enjoy their
surroundings. Our three infamous
geese will entertain the children if
they tire of the wooden adventure
The adjoining family-run Hare Farm
has gone through a full organic
conversion. They supply us with 100
per cent grass-fed certified Pasture
for Life beef from the traditional
shorthorn herd, while our in-house
The restaurant serves a
wide range of delicious
organic meals
A traditional wood fired
Customers are
turning to
food they can
butcher’s is also certified Pasture for
Life. The farm provides pork from
rare-breed pigs, along with fresh lamb
from the flock of sheep which graze
on the pastures above Cross Lanes.
This shortens the supply chains upon
which we rely and ensures that the
food miles attached to our produce
are virtuallynon-existent.
The upcycled and refurbished
greenhouse, heated by natural warmth
from the ground using a clever system
of underground ducts and fans,
produces a plethora of fruit, salads,
vegetables and edible flowers for the
restaurant. We also grow more exotic
items such as figs, peaches, apricots,
tomatillos, sumac and physalis as well
as our own turmeric.
Always looking at expansion
We are expanding our horticulture
production building using zero carbon
technology with a view to growing
almost all year round and supplying
our kitchens. We’ve embarked on a
new education programme, running
workshops ranging from holistic
management and stone carving to
watercolour painting, plaster-casting
and essential oils. More things are
planned, and we hope to move this
to our new eco-classroom, which is
We are currently building an
outside servery, which will offer our
customers a quicker takeaway facility
when they are on the move. It will
be self-sufficient and independent
from the main shop and kitchen,
while also being flexible enough to
use for summertime ice cream sales,
evening functions and special events.
We are also in the process of building
a completely new e-commerce
website, which will enable us to also
sell our produce online and grow
our profile among a wider audience.
It is expected that 25 per cent of all
UK sales of organic produce will be
conducted online by 2023 and the
market size is on target to be worth
£2.5 billion by 2020 despite economic
uncertainty. The market is also in
its eighth year of growth, so it is a
very exciting time for us as a thriving
business in the sector.
Our restaurant
was the first
farm shop in
England to
achieve a five-
star award
with the Soil
Served Here
»Our restaurant was the first farm shop in England to achieve a five-
star award with the Soil Association’s Organic Served Here Award,
recognising our commitment to serving a menu that contains 95 to
100 per cent certified organic ingredients
»We received The Northern Farmer Outstanding Achievement Award
for our commitment to food sustainability and as a successful
example of two families with similar principles coming together
»We were given a Discretionary Accolade, the Outstanding Award in
the County Durham Environment Awards
Sheep graze the roof top

This article was sponsored by Cross Lanes Farm Shop. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster