Deputy mayor promises Londoners more farmer's markets

LONDON, England, October 22, 2003 /PRNewswire: A farmers market every weekend, in every major shopping area in London, is the proposal of a new report by Deputy Mayor of London Jenny Jones. The report 'Farmers' Markets - building bridges between farmers and London shoppers' finds a surging demand for Farmers' Markets amongst Londoners, yet with fewer than 30 markets across the capital, many are denied access to the quality home grown produce.

"With the current crop of food horror stories it is little wonder that Londoners are crying out for guaranteed fresh, home-grown good quality food. We want to be confident about what goes on our plate," Jones said, "Farmers' Markets give shoppers direct contact with farmers and provide a source for traceable, natural, ethically-farmed food, helping to alleviate fears of facing the next BSE or E-coli disaster."

The report highlights the benefits farmers’ markets can bring to an area including raising support for local farmers. London which counts 400 farmers within the Greater London boundary and 15% of its land as farmland, according to National Farmers’ Union figures, could see a benefit throughout the county by locally grown products in London. (http://www.nfu.co.uk).

Farmers’ Markets also provide an advantage to the consumer who gains not only knowledge about the origin of his or her purchase but often a better price then he or she would get through a store. The National Farmers Union claims consumers pay 80% more for farm goods in the shops than they would if they bought from farms direct. (http://www.nfu.co.uk)

"Farmers' Markets are a shop window to the countryside. Fortunately with these markets, Londoners are not as removed from the countryside as we might think.

Many London Farmers' Markets carry on in the face of great difficulty, and they need all the support they can get from local authorities, government, and consumers, particularly the active support of buying their products." said Jones.

The report was announced October 17 at Beech Hill Farm in Barnet and is based on Jones’ fact-finding tour of Farmers' Markets in London.

More information: Nana-Serwa Mancell, Senior Press Officer, Green Party Group, London Assembly, telephone: +44(0)20 7983 4964 mobile: +44(0)7810 156 886 e-mail: nana.mancell@london.gov.uk City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA web site: http://www.london.gov.uk/ minicom: +44(0)20 7983 4458