Monday, November 05, 2007

Farmers' Markets Rock!

I love our local farmers' market - chutney, cheese and cooked pies tend to fill my bag - but unfortunately it only opens one day a month. All local food, less artificial crud and quite a lot of organic produce too. What more could you ask for?

There's an interesting article in the Guardian today about pressure on farmers' markets around the country to expand as they're being such a commercial success. The big issue seems to be whether to dilute the strict 'local' rules with products like marinated olives.

I'm in two minds about this:

1. As an environmentalist, it is great to know that the produce is local, but

2. As a consumer, if I'm on a foodie tip, I like to buy lots of fancy foods and more exotic things like chilli-stuffed olives matches the good cheese and preserves.

This might sound cynical, but I suspect that as with any successful niche offering, the markets will inevitably dilute their underpinning ethos. The question is whether selling a lot of 'pretty good' produce (in environmental terms) outweighs selling a much smaller amount of 'excellent' produce'? Everyone will have their own answer.

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