The Environment Secretary says that rather than importing fruit and vegetables from abroad people should shop locally, which would save money
Well Sherlock would have known it, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the Farmers’ Market movement and environmentalists have been telling us for years and now even Owen Patterson is urging UK shoppers to Shop Local.
Kent apples and Scottish raspberries where the main examples the Environment Secretary produced in his address to the Oxford Farming Conference this week but as everyone who takes part in Love Your Local Market knows….. it is just as important to shop local with our homegrown talent.
This years entries for the Nabma Market of the Year Awards have once again seen high quality entries coming in from the UK markets industry with producers trying ever more innovative lines and methods of trading, alongside market managers reaching out to their loal communities in ever more fun and inclusive ways.
Along with more traditional products found in markets, Bolton is seeing the first micro-bar selling cask ales and craft ciders opening this month in its Lifestyle Hall with company Great Ale Year Round. Niche products such as these are indicative of the growing trend that is seeing markets as hot-beds for new business with quality and good old British quirkiness central to the theme that is emerging from the Market of the Year Awards and past winners of the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards that opened for entries this week.
Awards are good for business! In the fight our street markets and market halls wage against the the Big Four to get people to buy local, awards offer five reasons to enter or nominate those dear to your heart:
PR – pure and simple……entering or nominating a market for an award is a great way to raise the profile of a market.
Recognition – at local, regional and national levels offers the holy grail for our high streets and city centres…..footfall.
Community Ownership – Markets are fantastic community assets and there is no better way to engage this sense of social purpose than instilling a large dose of community pride. This also of course helps increase footfall.
Feedback – what better way to find out what your customers think.
Market Team Cohesion – inspiring the team who often consist of volunteers as well as paid members of staff and those all important traders.
So there you have it…..Mr Patterson is right. Shop local and you boost the economy yes but you also instil pride into local communities, foster entrepreneurship at a micro level, being the key to sustainable growth and……you increase footfall into our town centres.