Brecon and Radnor AM and MP pledge to support local and direct producers

2011 Mehefin 14 9:53 AM
Cyhoeddwyd yn wreiddiol gan Roger Williams MP

Brecon and Radnor AM, Kirsty Williams and local MP, Roger Williams visited the 10th anniversary market of the Brecknock farmers' market in Brecon (11.06.11) where they pledged their support to buying local and direct. Ms Williams and Mr Williams became the latest signatories to sign up for the Fork2Fork pledge - calling on individuals to pledge their support to local producers by buying direct.

The Brecknock market celebrated its 10th market anniversary with a bumper market of over 50 producers all selling their wares at the Brecon Market Hall. Producers included Caroline's Real Bread, Teifi Cheese, Breconshire Brewery amongst many others. The market aims to be a location to buy high quality, locally produced, fresh, seasonal, food and hand-made products which are reared, grown or made in an approximate 30 mile radius of Brecon.

According to Fiona Jones, who along with a steering committee coordinates the market, "We've had such a fantastic day today as we celebrated our 10th anniversary. We are a FARMA accredited market which means that the produce sold at the market has been inspected and certificated which means that our shoppers are offered great local foods direct from the producer. Some people come as far afield as Birmingham and from the valleys to come here!"

"Having a farmers' market in Brecon also benefits the overall town and we have many local shop owners saying they're trade increases when the farmers' market takes place. We are very lucky to have their support and those of the town's residents, who like the market as we have such an array of diverse local producers. We've been so successful we've even started an outdoor market with gazebos by the town church and library on the last Friday of the month."

During their visit to the market celebrations, local AM Kirsty Williams and Brecon and Radnor MP, Roger Williams took the opportunity to sign the Fork2Fork campaign pledge. The direct sales campaign was also in town for the 10th anniversary celebration as part of their all-Wales tour. Launched in August 2010 the Fork2Fork pledge, which calls on individuals as well as national institutions to support local and direct producers, has attracted over 4,000 signatories. Institutions that have joined the campaign include the Women's Institute, Friends of the Earth and the British Medical Association.

On signing the Fork2Fork pledge to support local and direct producers, Kirsty Williams noted

"Brecon Farmers' Market is a first class example of local producers providing top quality local produce direct to the public. I'm glad to support the fork2fork pledge campaign to support local and direct producers and to have met so many fantastic producers during the markets' 10 year celebration. The economic crisis, as well as issues around climate change, makes it more important than ever to invest locally and exploit the excellent products that are on offer here in our county."

Mr Williams added: "I've visited the market before and it is a fantastic facility that's great for local residents but also draws in a lot of visitors into the area. The Brecon farmers market is a real example of how numerous small rural businesses can come together to provide a valuable service and a great attraction for the town and surrounding area."


About the Fork2Fork campaign

The Fork2Fork campaign, directed by FBA, is a two-year information and awareness campaign for the consumer, as well as the wider direct sales food sector, about the opportunities and benefits of direct food sales in Wales.

The project is a Supply Chain Efficiency Scheme through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The Fork2fork website is growing weekly. The consumer website currently has over 70 case studies of producers from across Wales, from farm shops, farmers' market producers, online producers and farm gate sellers. Consumers can search the Fork2Fork interactive map to see what events take place in their area.

Campaign objectives

To raise awareness amongst consumers of opportunities and benefits of buying direct from producers

To encourage greater consumer footfall to farm shops, farmers markets and increase turnover of direct sales via box schemes, internet sales and e-commerce

To raise awareness and increase direct sales trading opportunities for Welsh primary producers utilising regional and pan-Wales marketing opportunities

The Pledge

The pledge will:

Raise the profile of the importance of buying direct from the producer - be it on animal welfare, environmental, or socio-economic grounds. (See ten reasons to buy local below).

"I/We…… pledge wherever possible to buy food directly from the producer from outlets such as farmers' markets, farm shops, farm gates, online and box schemes. This supports local suppliers and sustainable food production."

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