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Farmers: Markets

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she provides to local authorities who operate or organise farmers’ markets on certification under the scheme operated by the National Farmers Retail and Markets Association. (139728)

I have been asked to reply.

My Department encourages farmers’ markets in a number of ways: directly, through funding under a range of grant schemes; and indirectly through our work with bodies such as FARMA (the National Farmer and Retail Markets Association) and local authorities to facilitate the establishment of farmers’ markets. We have written to the chief executives of local authorities drawing their attention to the benefits to the rural economy and to town centres that such markets can bring. We have also sponsored the Local Government Association Guide on Farmers’ Markets,

“Developing good practice for sustainable farmers’ markets—a practical guide for local authorities”.

The guidance aims to:

Highlight issues of interest to local authorities in relation to farmers’ markets;

Link farmers’ markets to related areas of interest;

Signpost local authorities and market organisers to areas of good practice; and

Stimulate further relevant research and interest into farmers’ markets.