Moseley Farmers’ Market on the outskirts of Birmingham has been named the 2012 UK Farmers’ Market of the Year in the Farm Retail Awards from The National Farmers’ Retail and Markets’ Association (FARMA).
The title, which the Farmers’ Market was also awarded in 2009, reflects the market’s dedication to providing its immediate community with a good range of quality, locally sourced food sold by knowledgeable producers. Customers come in their hundreds to Mosley Farmers’ Market, which takes place every fourth Saturday of the month, 9am-2pm, to buy from the 50-60 stalls, and to soak up the welcoming and convivial atmosphere.
Moseley Farmers’ Market cares not only about good food, but the community it benefits. The market is run by a volunteer group as a Community Interest Company (CIC), meaning that any surplus generated from running the markets is ploughed back into other community projects. Between 2004 and 2010, it contributed almost £31,000 towards Christmas lights, a Tolkien statue, Moseley in Bloom, church bells and a music event, amongst others. The Farmers’ Market organisers have also helped to start other markets in the area, such as the 24Carrots Farmers’ Market in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Gareth Jones, Awards Judge, commented, “Moseley Farmers’ Market continues to surprise and delight. It is a vital part of the area’s community spirit, and it’s clear that its customers just love being there. Its management is fully engaged in making each market the best.”
The National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) is an 800-strong farmer-owned co-operative that represents and supports direct sales to the consumer in all its forms: farm shops, pick-your-own farms, farmers’ markets, box schemes and internet sales.
It sets standards for farmers’ markets and farm shops with an independent inspection and Certification mark to ensure that they are the genuine article; and works to improve retailing and marketing skills throughout the industry.
The FARMA Awards (now known as the FARMAs) have been running since 2002. They recognise those farm shops, farmers’ markets, pick-your own and farm attraction sites, which exemplify a passion for local food, a commitment to farming and the environment, a talent for retail, and the fruits of a lot of hard work.