Farmers' Markets, and why we must support them Posted on 16th July 2018

We partake in regular markets around our region. We want to tell you why...

Farmers' markets, Street Markets, Food Festivals. We do hundreds of them. We do anything from the Quayside Market, which is primarily for tourists, to Jesmond Food market, which is geared more for local foodies, to the Great Yorkshire Show, which has a whole mix of people. 

Markets are always a bit of a lottery. Some might be high in sales from regular customers, but no new customer. Others might have low sales figures, but good publicity. Some might be excellent when the sun is shining, but attract no one in the rain. Some may have people who sample everything but buy nothing, and others may sample nothing but buy everything. 

What you need to remember about markets is that they can be an incredible route to market, and for some brands, it is there only income stream. Markets aren't an easy job; you normally need to get up early and be there before everyone arrives; you can rarely get near to your pitch, so you must ferry your products from your vehicle to your stall; you have to be on your feet all day; if you're on your own, you need to get someone trustworthy to watch your stall if you need to go to the loo or buy a drink; in the Winter, outdoor markets can be punishingly cold; hours can be extremely long (sometimes 12 hours long, as in the case of the Great Yorkshire Show); you have to ensure samples are constantly topped up; after a long punishing day, you then have to take down your stall. 

We don't do these for fun. We do these, because they are sometimes one of the best ways to show product to people who would like it. But markets aren't as popular as they once were; many organisers have made markets prohibitively expensive; markets have become more popular, and there is more competition for stalls, or there are too many similar producers; the culture of sampling means that there are some attendees who just want to try loads of samples. It's a tough one. 

If you visit a market, you are visiting the heart and soul of the producer. If it is a fresh product, they have likely been up all night making it. They probably are only just covering their costs to do the stall. But support them; they need your trade. You're gettting a better product, it's higher quality, and you're supporting someone directly. Markets are a wonderful thing, and we must contribute to them where we can. 

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