- Looking back at 2019 and forward to 2020 December 29, 2019
As you may know 2019 has been our 20th Anniversary and this milestone has been celebrated at each of our 8 venues with lots of cake,bunting,live music and even sunshine!
At Crewkerne the event took the form of a collaboration with ‘Eat Festival’ for a whole day of festivities.
The last 20 years have been quite a journey from those optimistic pioneering early years and it is true to say that we have weathered many metaphorical,literal and financial storms but we have survived when many Farmers Market organisations haven’t and are ‘Fighting fit’ for the next decade.
We have strengthened our collaborations within the communities we serve and remain thankful for the continued support of Thatcher & Hallam Solicitors www.th-law.co.uk who finance many of our annual leaflets,banners and adverts and who offer our members free legal advice regarding their businesses.
Similarly Midsomer Norton & Keynsham Town Councils provide grants for leaflet distributions,canopy repairs adverts and live music.
This year has seen us establish a new link with The School of Social Enterprise’ based in Dartington who offer support and free training to not for profit businesses such as SFM. They have given us £1,200 to make our web-site mobile & tablet friendly and to commision a designer to give us a marketing makeover with a fresh re-brand….watch this space over the next 6 months for the results.
We are also ‘crossing our fingers’ for lottery funding to finance creative ways to enhance our markets and encourage the wider community to participate in and benefit from our events.
We have also reviewed and updated our Criteria and now insist on Free Range Eggs for sale or use in Baked products. In reality this was just a formality as all of our existing members had a free range egg policy.
We are also asking that new and existing members help to reduce single use plastics in their packaging where possible.Also in the light of recent high profile tragedies we insist that members provide information to customers of potential allergens in their products.
We are also excited to have become members of ‘Visit Somerset’ and are looking forward to working with them to promote local food and drink.
We wish all our customers a happy New Year and look forward to seeing you at our Farmers Markets.Continue reading →
- Christmas shopping at the Cheese & Grain November 28, 2019
On Sunday December 22nd the ‘BIG CHRISTMAS FARMERS MARKET’ takes place at the Cheese & Grain in Frome from 10am-2pm.
Tradition dictates that everyone shops for the big day with Turkeys & chipolata’s to be collected ,cheeses to be tasted, Christmas tipples to be chosen and boxing day chutneys selected!
We also cater for vegans in the family and have a stall dedicated to plant based desserts!
Always a great source of last minute edible gifts for unexpected visitors and a wonderful sociable experience at the Cheese & Grain with the cafe open for refreshments.
& no one should go home without their brussel sprout tree!!Continue reading →
- Frome Independent Cancelled Sunday March 3rd March 2, 2019
A severe storm is headed for the south West and so the organisers have been forced to cancel the Frome Independent event- we will be however holding a farmers market at Boyles Cross next Saturday 9th March!Continue reading →
- Axbridge & Midsomer Norton Markets cancelled February 1, 2019
With regret we must cancel both Axbridge & Midsomer Norton Markets on Saturday Feb 2nd,due to extreme snow & iceContinue reading →
- 20 years of Somerset Farmers Markets! January 1, 2019
In 1999 we launched our first market in Glastonbury and began to build up a network of regular markets around the county of Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset. Twenty years on and we are still going strong and will this year be celebrating our anniversary at each of our markets throughout the year…we’ll give out more details as the year progresses.
However as we step into our 3rd decade we are mindful of our original purpose and role within the local agricultural and food economy. Since we began environmental issues have become ever more urgent ,the very real effects of climate change and plastic pollution more apparent and many species of wildlife extinct or in danger.
We were created from ‘Agenda 21’ funding as a direct result of the 1st climate change summit in Rio when the United Nation 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.
In our small way we began pioneering a network of Farmers Markets supporting local food production. We were aiming to reverse the demise of small family farms and re-introducing the concept of buying local food directly from farmers and growers, brewers & cheese & cider makers,bakers,chefs & preserve makers. Trust was built up between customer and food producers who serve as an antidote to mass produced industrial scale farming and food production which adds nothing to the environment,local economy ,animal welfare and offers questionable nutritional value to the consumer.
We enforced low mileage and asked that non farmers use local ingredients where possible. We also encouraged shoppers to bring their own bags or purchase one of our re-usable jute bags of which 4,000 were produced over the last 10 years!
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 current packaging to ensure it can be re-cycled,re-used,compostable,or biodegradable depending on what they are producing.
We will share the good practice of our existing members and encourage new members to start off using the most environmentally friendly packaging for their produce.
Finally we thank and applaud our many customers who continue to bring their own re-usable bags and some of whom are also bringing along their own containers!
A Happy 2019 to you all.
- New Coordinator for SFM! August 7, 2018
Hannah Palmer has recently taken over as Coordinator running Axbridge, Crewkerne,Burnham on Sea & Glastonbury and can be contacted on 07790716845.
Louise Hall continues to be responsible for the 2 Frome Farmers Markets. Keynsham and Midsomer Norton and is on 01373 813812Continue reading →
- Somerset Farmers’ Markets Respects Your Privacy May 21, 2018
At Somerset Farmers’ Markets Ltd we recognise the importance of protecting your personal information in compliance with new data protection laws. We send emails to our subscribers with market updates and news.
If you have signed up to receive e-mail reminders about specific Somerset Farmers’ Market events your e-mail details are stored securely by ‘Mail Chimp’ and we do not share them with anyone.
You may withdraw your marketing consent at any time by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of each e-mail.
If you would like to receive emails for your favourite markets just click on the “Subscribe” link at the bottom of this page.Continue reading →
- Somerset Farmers’ Markets continue to offer a sustainable shopping alternative March 29, 2018
The media thankfully in recent months has been more forcefully highlighting the need to tread lightly on our planet, not to saturate the oceans with discarded plastics, voicing concerns about super-size dairy farms where animals may not see a field or a blade of grass, or of over processed foods which are adding to the countries growing obesity problems especially in our young children.
Meanwhile Somerset Farmers Markets have for nearly 2 decades already been spreading this message, the need to buy locally produced food with low packaging and high nutritional value and a concern for high animal welfare standards. We have also provided our customers with over 3,000 jute shopping bags over the years and our producers aim to use paper bags or recyclable packaging.
Many of our farmers are involved in Open Farm Sunday encouraging customers to visit and see for themselves their high welfare standards, food production methods and build trusting customer producer relations.
It is also good news that Somerset and the surrounding region is still blessed with small farms and food producers who have environmental sustainability and high animal welfare standards at the core of their ethos. Our bakers use flour from local mills, free range eggs from local flocks and cheeses from the array of local dairies.
The penny seems to have finally dropped and more and more people want to shop ethically to become part of the solution rather than the problem!
Come and enjoy supporting the local environment, local economy and in our corner of the South West preserve our small family farms, dairies and artisan producers … and you know it tastes better!
- No Axbridge or From3 Market this Saturday March 3rd March 2, 2018
Due to bad weather these markets are cancelled. They will return in April.Continue reading →
- Tasting Somerset! January 12, 2018
A belated Happy New Year to all our customers, with the holidays over,its now back to work, schools have re-opened and we keep umbrellas at the ready…. but its also a positive time for resolutions and good intentions and we hope more and more of you will embrace supporting local farmers and artisan food producers in 2018.
Over the years we have seen many small farmers give up, unable to compete with cheaper imports and big supermarket cost cutting but we’ve also witnessed many embracing diversification responding to the eagerness for the modern customer to embrace new tasty options.
We’ve seen this strengthening of intent at all of our markets with the introduction over the years of Waterbuffalo meat, sheeps cheese, charcuterie, chilli farming or swapping dairy farming for lavender growing or a career in IT for growing micro greens packed with nutrients and the rise in popularity of goats cheese, milk and meat.
Others have taken a greater pride in the premium quality of their traditionally reared animals, artisan cheeses and ciders or traditional variety vegetables.The message is now loud and clear purchasing local food supports high animal welfare, strengthens the local economy,promotes good quality award winning food producers and our markets continue to add to the vibrancy and culture of our market towns. They are an integral part of living in or visiting and tasting Somerset!
The unfolding story of local farmers and our evolving food production can be experienced each month at any of our eight farmers markets and now in our 20th year its been quite an evolution!Continue reading →