20 years of Somerset Farmers Markets!

Happy 2019 to all of our customers some of whom have been with us for nearly 2 decades from our launch in Glastonbury in 1999!

This year, we will be celebrating this amazing milestone throughout the county  with a birthday party at each of our 8 market venues during the year …. more news to follow!

However as we step into our 3rd decade we are mindful of our original purpose and role within the local agricultural and food economy and the need to evaluate and update our intent.

Since we were formed the environmental issues have become ever more urgent,the effects of climate change and plastic pollution more apparent and many species of wildlife extinct or in danger of extinction.

We were ‘created’ from Agenda 21 money as a direct result of the 1st climate change summit in Rio when the United Nations member states developed an action plan that each local government area should draw up its own plan to ‘act locally’ to prevent climate change by promoting local initiatives focusing on sustainable development and counteracting the damaging effects of globalisation.

So in our small way we began pioneering within the county of Somerset and also in Bath & North East Somerset a network of Farmers Markets supporting local food production,aiming to reverse the demise of the small family farm and re-introducing the concept of buying local food directly from the farmers, growers,brewers,cider & cheese makers ,bakers ,foragers and cooks! Creating trust between customer and producer and serving as an antidote to mass produced industrial scale food production and farming with no added value to the local environment, animal welfare or even nutritional value to the customer.

We enforced low mileage criteria, asked non- farmers to use local ingredients and over the years have encouraged our customers to use one of our 4,000 re-usable jute bags or bring their own.

However we all recognise that the spotlight is now urgently on reducing single use,non renewable plastics so we are urging our members to evaluate their packaging used to ensure it can be re-cycled, re-used,compostable or biodegradable depending on their produce.

This year we will share the good practice of some of our existing members and urging new members to start off using environmentally friendly packaging.

Finally we continue to applaud the many customers who bring their own re-usable bags and are also beginning to bring along their own containers !

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