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Why Tracy is vocal about buying local

For video producer Tracy Thomas the heavenly, homemade Raspberry and Chocolate jam did it.

It wasn’t just that the sweet, seasonal, soft-set jam tasted so sensational – it was the fact that it was made using all-local produce that also impressed Tracy.

“I defy anyone to ignore it. The jam was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten,” says Tracy, (pictured right) from Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire.

That initial £3.25 purchase got Tracy hooked on shopping through www.MuddyCarrot.com, which is like an online cross between a farmer’s market and a village fair.

Muddy Carrot champions locally sourced items throughout the UK and features food and drink, beauty products, holidays, clothes, yarn, courses, livestock and more.

The site is likely to appeal particularly to busy Mums – and it has certainly impressed Tracy and other online shoppers who not only want top-quality items, but require them to be sustainable and ethically produced.

Tracy says, “It has so many beautiful products – touchy, feely, smelly, yummy – that come from really friendly and helpful sellers. It is so important that you can deal with each supplier individually.”

Tracy recently bought a handmade Dog Lead and Collar Hanger in the shape of a black labrador that is personalised with each pet’s name. Tracy’s dog is called Mac the Knife, which is longer than most pet names, so the Derbyshire supplier, Just the Job, phoned her and agreed to change its standard writing style to fit in the whole name at no extra charge.

“That’s the beauty of Muddy Carrot. You are dealing with small suppliers that are keen to build up relationships with customers. It is also nice to know that you are supporting small businesses. The quality for the cost is hard to come by elsewhere,” she says.

Tracy has also purchased pork from a rare breed supplier on Muddy Carrot. “It feels good to buy from them. I am not keen on intensive pig rearing. In this country it is difficult to find meat in supermarkets that is reared as I like it to be. The meat was not expensive and it came chill-packed.”

She first heard about Muddy Carrot through business forums and updates on the Twitter social media site. “Muddy Carrot is a lovely site. I have bought items for myself and gifts for others. I will also be using it for Christmas presents. You go on there for jam and before you know it, you are buying a goat skin or a face wash.

“Everything is locally produced and is reared healthily. If you are a Mum that is important to know, as you want to give your children the best. It is also competitively-priced.”

Another satisfied Muddy Carrot shopper is Kris Smith, from Somerset. She says, “Finally, a site made for me. As a single, disabled mum, I haven’t had the time or ability to search out the local crafts and food that I want to buy. Now in one easy place I can get the things I want, knowing the suppliers are being treated fairly.”

Muddy Carrot is run by Tracy Oldfield and her husband James, of Beaminster Bottom Farm, in Dorset. The couple have always been concerned about the environment and adopting sustainable practices and have even built an eco-friendly home.

Tracy Oldfield says, “You have to think what we are handing over to the next generation. We use too much packaging for everything. Supermarkets are leading us to only eat apples of a certain size and everything else gets thrown away. With the amount of food we produce, we could feed the world twice over. Locally produced items which are sustainable ensure our food security and the land is taken care of.”

Having spent many years attending various markets, Tracy was aware of the rich range of beautiful handmade things that were available and realised there was a need to bring all these hidden gems together in one up-to-the-minute and convenient marketplace.

Muddy Carrot markets all things rooted in the local soil – sourced within 50 miles of base. Current items include Dirt to Dinner and Eat Your Flower beds courses, various livestock, low-fat carrot dog biscuits, a veggie food hamper, bespoke wedding cakes and bed and breakfast breaks with organic food and toiletries.

Then, of course, there is Tracy Thomas’s favourite range of Artisan preserves, from Gloucestershire. As well as Raspberry and Chocolate jam, Tracy loves its tasty Toffee Apple jam. Muddy Carrot has a strong community element and buyers can add reviews about all items sold on the site. It also offers a free local events listing where anyone can publicise their local show, farmers’ markets or community events.

See the full range of Muddy Carrot’s products at www.muddycarrot.com

To promote the website, Muddy Carrot has produced a fun video called I’m Local and I Know It, based on the hit YouTube song, Sexy and I Know It, by LMFAO. It can be viewed on the Muddy Carrot home page.

ENDS July 2012

For more information and photos please contact: Tracy Oldfield, owner, MuddyCarrot.com Telephone: 01308 861113, Email: tracy@muddycarrot.com, Twitter: muddycarrot

Press release by A Head For PR Telephone: 01935 813114 or 01202 431075 Email: jane@aheadforpr or adrian@aheadforpr.co.uk

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Release Date: 23rd July 2012

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