Stroud is this year’s national winner of the FARMA Certified Farmers’ Market of the Year award, for being at the leading edge of everything about farmers’ markets and for their energy and commitment.
Farmers’ markets in the UK are 10 years old and have come a long way since 1997. There are now some 550 communities in villages, towns and cities right across the country that have their own farmers’ market ñ and numbers are still growing. They vary from a few stalls in schoolyards or village halls to larger and more professionally organised weekly events.
Stroud Farmers’ Market is known as the busiest and most popular in the South West. Three times winner of Cotswold Life Magazine’s Best Farmers’ Market’ award, it has been featured in many top publications and was recently visited by John Craven for an episode of BBC 1’s Countryfile.
The farmers’ market takes over the winding streets of this busy Gloucestershire town every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Organisers Clare and Kardien Gerbrands use a mix of innovation, marketing, publicity and retail skills to weave a unique community experience. At its core is the Cornhill Market Place where trading first started in 1999. Steady growth in the number of stalls meant that the Market has spilled out into the surrounding streets and now, there are at least 45 stalls attending every week.
A few years ago, the Farmers’ Market was increased from fortnightly to weekly. Stallholders have since commented on the surprising rise in trade now that customers can rely on getting their shopping there every week. The organic produce regularly sells out by mid morning and local farms are now having to scale up in order to meet the increasing demand.
As well as heaps of organic local produce, including cooked food stalls all year round, there is always a wide range of quality local crafts from traditional and contemporary makers. This famous market is well worth a visit whether you are a newcomer to the experience or a longterm follower of local food and drink.
Stroud Farmers Market is certified by FARMA,
the National Farm Retail and Markets Association
Contact: FARMA, 12 Southgate Street,
Winchester, SO23 9EF.
Tel: 0845 45 88 420
Photo: a stall at Stroud Farmers’ Market. Photo: © Huw Jones / FARMA / Lloyds Europa Ltd.