06 July 1999
Government backs farmers’
markets — with £50,000

By FWi staff

THE governments Countryside Agency has backed the launch of a National Association of Farmers Markets with a £50,000 donation.

The association will look after and represent the interests of farmers who sell their produce at the markets which have become increasingly popular over recent months.

It also aims to enable visitors to farmers markets to shop with complete confidence in the high standards of the produce on sale.

Organisers of farmers markets will be able to register with the association which will provide accreditation that food on sale has been produced locally by the farmer.

Speaking at the launch of the association at this weeks Royal Show, Ewen Cameron, Countryside Agency chairman, said the move was good for everybody.

“Farmers markets admirably demonstrate principles of sustainable agriculture,” he said.

“They are good for producers, enabling direct access to consumers, so retaining the full retail price for the products and helping to promote consumer confidence.”

The association was set up by the Bath Environment Centre, the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Farm Retail Association and the Soil Association.

It also has the backing of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the Food Lovers Guide to Britain and the National Association of British Market Authorities.

NFU Deputy President Tony Pexton said: “Farmers markets have boomed in recent times because they meet the needs of both producers and their customers.”

Almost 70 markets are due to be operating by the end of this year after Britains first farmers market opened in Bath less than two years ago.