Farmers market going strength to strength in Waveney
- Credit: Archant © 2013
CONCERNS are constantly voiced these days about the dominance of the big supermarket chains.
But a farmer's market in Waveney is going 'from strength to strength'.
The popularity of the Beccles Farmers Market at Ellough Airfield is founded on quality local produce as more than 30 stallholders come together twice a month to serve their wares to hundreds of customers.
And on Saturday a special treat was on offer as people were encouraged to start the day with a traditional fry-up – using locally-sourced ingredients – to mark the launch of Farmhouse Breakfast Week.
Despite the snowy conditions, the market attracted a good turn-out and the cold weather seemed to fuel people's appetites as dozens queued up for their free breakfast. Locally-produced sausages sizzled alongside bacon, eggs, and mushrooms as stallholders and market organisers served up a 'thank you' to their loyal customers.
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Elizabeth Hall, who co-organises the market and runs the Hundred River Beef stall, said: 'We wanted to do a promotion to thank our customers for their continued support over the last 12 months... it is about promoting healthy breakfasts and how it is such an important meal of the day. This is about the fifth year we have been doing the promotion and last year more than 350 breakfasts were given out.'
The market, which usually has between 30 and 35 stallholders, is Farma-certified with all the traders based within a 50-mile radius, ensuring the food on offer is locally produced and sourced. That includes the beef and ice cream on Hundred River Beef's stall – produced just two fields away from the site in Hulver Street.
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Miss Hall said: 'We have a variety of stalls, which is important, offering venison, beef, lamb, local eggs, ice cream. There are also two bakers and I am launching a new product with the first batch of natural yoghurt.'
Other stalls offer pork, fruit and vegetables, flowers, pastries, preserves, cakes and handmade ceramics.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, Miss Hall added: 'It has been a very good year, with lots of very successful markets. We average anywhere between 600 to 800 customers.
'This is our 13th year and we are continuing to do very well as the market goes from strength to strength. We have a good band of loyal customers and local producers, and we are all one big happy family.'
Among the other traders present on Saturday were egg producers Bob and Helen Kingery, of Greenfield Farm at West End in Wrentham, who have been attending the market since its launch.
Mrs Kingery said: 'It is very successful and we are very pleased with it. We've been producing eggs since 1996, about 17 years, and recently won the British Free Range Eggs Association producer of the year award.'
The eggs for Saturday's free breakfasts were provided by Mr and Mrs Kingery, with the rolls provided by Eugene and Shona Smith, from the Glendower Bakery in London Road, Pakefield.
Mr Smith said: 'The market is very good for us. We've been doing it for about five years and if everyone shops local it would keep us in business. We are all local and we trade with one another as well.'
Beccles Farmers Market takes place on the first and third Saturday of the month at Beccles Heliport on Ellough Airfield. For more information, visit www.becclesfarmersmarket.co.uk
Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which started on Sunday, is run by Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), the cereals and oilseeds division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.