Far beyond the glitzy, glamorous streets of Essex, and far past the bustling shops and cultural venues, there lies a wonderfully rural county of working farms and rich agricultural history.
It then goes without saying that Essex is very much a county that has frequent Farmers Markets throughout the region, and here we take a look at just what such traditional shopping events offer for both the consumer and local supplier alike.
The history of farmers markets
Farmers markets are back with a vengeance throughout the county of Essex and beyond. They are events that celebrate the simple produce that is farmed locally by experts and allow the savviest and most demanding of shoppers the chance to learn about where their food comes from and how to truly get the most from it.
The face-to-face qualities of the average farmers market hails back to a time when food production and consumption was a whole lot simpler, and it overcomes fifty years of movement towards national supermarket chains. Most notably this shift has hastened in pace over the past decade, and emerged as a result of a resurgence in farm shops. From these consumers remembered what it was like to truly converse with the producers of the foods and meats that they were consuming. And today Farmers markets events can be found throughout the county on High streets, in village halls and in market squares. These events also go beyond simple food produce to include craft traditions and small scale productions - both of which are the perfect examples of diverse businesses that continue to grow in popularity.
The many advantages for the demanding shopper
For the average shopper the farmer's market has much to offer. Not only is there a highly diverse range of products that include just about every form of fruit and veg, but they also boast the best of locally raised meat, fish and poultry. What’s more shoppers can speak with producers of the products directly, learning about the food that they are purchasing and gaining inspiration for recipes. Farmers markets even feature mini tasting sessions so that shoppers can both try before they buy, as well as try out new meats and products that they may not have tasted previously.
The ways in which farmers market helps local suppliers
As well as local produce generally faring far better in terms of animal standards when compared to overseas farming, it’s also far better a way of doing business for the local suppliers and farmers themselves.
After all such markets cut out the potentially exploitative supermarket contracts that continue to push down the payments that farmers receive, achieving a fair deal for both consumer and farmer alike.