Amid the blustery wind and heavy showers of Sunday morning Justine Paul was helping set up a farmers’ market in Bury St Edmumds.
Justine and her company Suffolk Market Events have been busy working on improving the health of the county’s farmers’ markets.
Four and a half years ago Lavenham Farmers’ Market had just six traders and a handful of customers.
“I got on the phone and put out flyers.
“Now we have about 36 traders every month and it attracts well over 1,500 people a month,” said Justine.
The Lavenham market has now been shortlisted in the regional Countryside Alliance awards, the winners of which will be announced in January.
Justine is also in the midst of trying to find a new venue for the Assington Market which she has run for two years, while she took over the Sudbury Farmers’ Market from the town council seven months ago, again turning it into a success.
“The footfall has more than doubled as has the number of traders while takings are up 60 per cent,” Justine said.
She set up Suffolk Marketing Events 18 months ago after being asked to run a farmers’ market at the Great East Swim.
She was asked by St Edmundsbury Borough Council to hold Sunday’s Bury market as part of the Christmas Fayre while Bid4Bury have asked her to hold farmers’ markets for the Whitsun Fayre in May and the Summer Food Festival in August.
Justine has said she is working to bring a permanent farmers’ market back to Bury St Edmunds.
“I am waiting to hear if the council is going to approve it,” she said.
She says the appeal of the famers’ markets is of being able to meet producers face to face and know where your food is coming from while none of her markets sell produce from more than 30 miles away.
The Lavenham Market is at the village hall on the fourth Sunday of every month except in December when it is on December 16.
The Sudbury Market is on the last Friday of the month at St Peter’s Church.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.facebook.com/Suffolkmarketevents or www.twitter.com/LavenhamFarmers
For our full story see Friday’s Bury Free Press.