Lavenham Farmers’ Market named Suffolk’s best in national food awards

Justine Paul, organiser of Lavenham Farmers' Market
Justine Paul, organiser of Lavenham Farmers' Market

Lavenham Farmers’ Market will represent Suffolk in the national finals of the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards.

The monthly market has been chosen as Suffolk’s Best Food Market from eight that were nominated by BBC listeners.

This year categories were judged regionally by BBC Radio presenters and it was Lesley Dolphin of BBC Radio Suffolk and Polly Robinson of the Food Safari who judged the best Food Market in Suffolk.

The judges told organiser Justine Paul that the market received an ‘exceptional number’ of nominations, they also liked the upstairs workshops she added to the market in Lavenham Village Hall last April.

It is a turn around for the market which almost closed in 2008. Justine said: “I was fed up that it was going to close and my husband said I should do something, so I got on the phone to the traders – I’d never done anything like it before.”

She then took on Sudbury Farmers’ Market in 2012 and has just added Nayland’s to her Suffolk Markets group.

She added: “Each month we have about 36 traders, all from a 30 mile radius of Lavenham.

“Produce sold at Lavenham is sold by the producers of it. If you want to know about it you can ask the person who grew it or raised the cattle and sheep.”

She feels being recognised as a good market is important. “There have been a lot of markets that aren’t very good and they aren’t helping the good ones,” she said.

The market is held every fourth Sunday morning of the month.