Important distinction as market forces combine at Swiss Cottage
While I am glad to see the publicity given to the farmers market – and equally glad that it looks like having a new lease on life – please understand that there are two markets: the farmers market and the ordinary food market (Farmers market in welcome
While I am glad to see the publicity given to the farmers' market - and equally glad that it looks like having a new lease on life - please understand that there are two markets: the farmers' market and the ordinary food market (Farmers' market in welcome return to Swiss cottage, H&H June 5).
London farmers' markets are restricted to products grown or made within 100 miles of London; they do not allow foreign produce. Visitors to Eton Avenue will see the market was split into two. The front section nearest Finchley Road was not a farmers' market; the stalls after the Farmers' Market sign were.
It is important to make the distinction so that people are not buying food - however good - believing it is local and produced by the stall holder when it may not be. For example, I am sure the delicious French cheeses and pates are not all from one producer and certainly aren't sourced within 100 miles.
If you start muddying the waters, it opens the floodgates to all sorts of people claiming to be running farmers' markets and the original concept will be eroded and eventually disappear.
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I welcome the positive article about the long-awaited return of the real farmers' market to Swiss Cottage. However, I think a crucial point has been missed, or maybe inadvertently cut.
The imported food stalls remaining on the site are separate from, not part of, the farmers' market, whose strict rules of "local only, producer only" are an extremely important guarantee to consumers, and the organisers go to great lengths to make this distinction clear. The two markets complement each other and offer customers a wider choice. Unfortunately your article reintroduces confusion and undermines the integrity of genuine certified farmers markets. Certification should be a criterion for local authorities when dealing with farmers' markets.
Former market manager
Mount View Road, N4