MARKETS IN THE UK
& COOKING ARTICLE
the UK we have been hearing more and more about Farmers
Markets springing up all around the country. This has
to be a step in the right direction - getting back to
the good old days when produce went straight from the
land to the plate without the interference of big business
along the way.
I live, in Cheltenham, there have been at least a couple
of farmers markets both of which I missed because I
did not know about them until after the event. When
I saw in the newspaper that there was a National organisation
set up with its own website I went and had a look both
to find out where the markets are held and to learn
a little bit more about them. I have reproduced below
some of the information from the website of the National
Association of Farmer's Markets which is as
good a way as any to tell you what they are about.
has developed a set of criteria with which Farmers'
Markets which wish to be Members should comply.
Association of Farmers' Markets Criteria
refer to guidance notes below for details
Only produce from the defined local area shall be
All produce sold must be grown, reared, caught, brewed,
pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stall'
The stall must be attended by the principal producer
or a representative directly involved in the production
Policy and information
Information should be available to customers at each
market about the rules of the market and the production
methods of the producers. The Market should also publicise
the availability of this information.
Markets may establish other criteria in addition to
the above provided they do not conflict with them.
Notes on the interpretation of the Criteria
radius from the market has generally been used to
define "local": 30 miles from the market
would be a typical definition. The actual distance
will depend on circumstances and on the consumers'
own perception of "local".
may use a more complex definition which takes account
of a wider range of factors for example:
primary aim of giving priority to producers living
closest to the market;
definition of an area by natural features, by particular
characteristics or by historic relationships between
the countryside and particular towns;
need to include types of produce which are not locally
available e.g. cereals in an area where the climatic
conditions are mainly suitable for grazing;
markets within large urban areas such as London,
farms are of necessity some distance away and large
populations are served;
coastal areas, the definition may need to refer
to locally caught fish and a larger radius is needed
to include the same area of land;
catchment area of other markets for example in order
to avoid excluding more remote areas from the catchment
of any market;
for neighbouring Farmers' Markets.
should be evident in whatever definition is adopted
and an overall area much larger than a 30 mile radius
is unlikely to retain local characteristics. The National
Association reserves the right to approve each definition
as coming within the spirit of this clause.
Market conditions may also:
priority to producers who are closest to the market;
different definitions of "locally produced"
for primary and added-value products or for crafts.
primary produce, including livestock, that it has
been grown or finished on the producers' land.
processed meat products, that the meat should be
primary produce as defined above.;
other processed foods; that the products have been
made within the defined radius and ingredients sourced
locally where possible.
there is a choice, crafts and processed products using
materials from outside the area should be excluded
in favour of food products which have an entirely
local origin. The proportion of the Market represented
by processed products and crafts should generally
not exceed 25% except in the winter months when it
should not exceed 50%.
intention of this clause is to ensure there is the
closest possible link between consumers and local
stall should be operated by someone directly involved
in production, not just in other aspects of the producer's
business. One of the key principles of a Farmers'
Market is for the consumer to have a direct relationship
with the producer.
co-operatives and community associations such as local
allotment societies or Womens' Institute groups may
be agreed as principal producers on a case by case
basis by the local market. In all cases they must
be bonefide producers.
Policy and information
Farmers' Market should be operated in accordance with
trading standards, environmental health, alcohol licensing,
market charters and other relevant legislation.
policy of each Farmers' Market in terms of sourcing
locally produced food and encouraging sustainable
methods of production should be available to customers.
must produce clear written information about production
methods which shall be available to any consumer who
requests it. The Market must also publicise the availability
of this information. Producers should be encouraged
to welcome visitors onto their farm.
should for the time being include a policy that no
genetically modified organisms are knowingly sold
or included in products sold at the market.
may establish other standards which they feel are
appropriate in their locality, eg compliance with
minimum animal welfare standards.
may set other rules which do not conflict with the
main principles set out in the criteria.
prime aim of the market must be to develop a vibrant
environment where consumers and producers are brought
together. The number of criteria applied as a matter
of policy should be kept to a minimum relying instead
on the provision of information and consumer demand.
aims of the National
Association of Farmers' Markets are:
promote Farmers' Markets and assist in the formation
of new ones
support existing Farmers' Markets and enable them
to expand and remain self-sustaining.
define and accredit the Farmers' Market concept and
grant accreditation only to those markets which conform
to the agreed criteria (link to criteria area 4).
represent the interests of Farmers' Markets to local
and national government.
draw on the support of the range of national agencies
which support Farmers' Markets and develop their involvement.
you would like to contact the National Association of
Farmers' Markets you can do so via their website at
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org