22 October 1999

Belfast farmer market is set

FARMERS and growers are set to take part in the first farmers market to be held in Belfast for more than 80 years.

The event, which will be held at St Georges market, Belfast, was originally the brainchild of the Farming and Retail Movement (FARM).

But now it has also won the backing of the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland which hopes that farmers will benefit from customer contact that will allow them to become more consumer orientated.

Belfast City Council, which owns St Georges market, has welcomed the idea of the farming community returning to the same site that was once used for the sale of produce direct from farmers to the public.

Jim Rodgers, chairman of Belfast City Council development committee said that it would be like "a return to days gone by".

"There may be no grain and livestock, but I am sure the customer will continue the tradition of haggling in order to get the best price for the best products in town," he added.

Organisers have planned additional activities, such as cookery demonstrations and live music, to help provide a country atmosphere in the urban location.

Although as yet only two dates have been confirmed – Nov 6 and Dec 4 – a city council spokesman said that he hoped it would soon become a monthly affair.