Call to keep Farmers Markets open as ‘safe’ shopping alternative

As more and more consumers shift their focus towards shopping ‘local’, Farmer’s Markets across the UK are calling on the public to visit them for a sustainable and safe retail experience.

Recent research from Mintel shows that 25% of UK adults are shopping more from local businesses as ‘community’ becomes more important to consumers.

With the government’s own guidance highlighting the importance of ventilation in preventing the spread of COVID-19, Farmers’ Markets provide an ideal place away from crowded supermarkets to pick up plentiful fresh food.

Jenny Rose, manager of the Farm Retail Association said:

“Access to local, fresh healthy food in the open air is such a positive resource for consumers as the battle against COVID-19 continues.

“Farmers markets are at the heart of local communities, and in many cases play a huge role in the economy of their local areas, bringing people to the high street.

“With Brexit having a temporary impact on certain food chains into the UK, access to British food has never been more important.”

Ben Reynolds, Deputy CEO of Sustain, said:

“It’s vital that we keep markets open, and provide communities with safe access to food at this critical time. Farmers markets particularly provide a route to market for producers without which many would go bust.

“Everyone can play their part, whether it’s by shopping safely, or calling on your local council and MP to do what they can to support markets.”

Cheryl Cohen, London Farmers Markets said:

“Advice from the government states that ventilation is the enemy of the virus. We’ve put strict measures in place to make sure the shopping experience for our customers is as safe as possible, from one way systems, limiting numbers, safely distanced stalls and encouraging quick trips.

“Our customers have expressed that they feel safer with us than in supermarkets, which can be busy and intimidating. We’re proud to have been able to serve our local communities through these challenging times”

Joe Harrison, CEO of the National Market Traders Federation said:

“I am sure that the Prime Minister will see it only right and fitting that markets, particularly those that operate outdoors, are able to stay open and offer a safe option to the shopping public.

“We were pleased that the PM and his Government correctly saw it fit to make outdoor markets the first form of retail to open safely following the first lockdown last summer. As an industry, markets have done an incredible job in keeping the public safe”

Editors notes

The Farm Retail Association (FRA) began its life as the Farm Shop and PYO Association (FSPA) in 1979.

Realising that the farm retail industry had no supporting body, a group of like-minded farmers took the reigns and began their own. To this day, the FRA adheres to the same principles, supporting, sharing and learning with one another.

The FRA is managed by Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity which supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, education and funding scientific research into rural affairs.

For further information please contact:

Jenny Rose

Farm Retail Association

01423 546214

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