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Home   Medway   News   Article

Rochester market taps into demand for fresh food

26 January 2014
by Nicola Jordan

The horsemeat scandal, which revealed the content of processed food in some shops and restaurants, may have played a part in the flourishing success of Rochester Farmers’ Market.

Mick Burchett and Nick Brown from A J Barkaway and MB Farms

Mick Burchett and Nick Brown from A J Barkaway and MB Farms

A year on from the expose, hundreds are flocking to the monthly market to buy fresh, seasonal produce grown and reared by Kent farmers.

Sparky the chef at Rochester Farmers Market

Sparky the chef

Manager Annette Le Breton believes its popularity could be down to shoppers opting for goods they know are sourced locally.

Miss Le Breton said: “Since the horsemeat saga, there has been a tendency to be safe rather than sorry.

“At the time we saw trade soaring at butchers in Medway with the huge demand for home-made sausages and burgers. The market has gone from strength to strength.

“Our traders are passionate about their produce and they are there to reassure and answer customers’ questions because they have grown, reared or made what they sell.”

The market, which is held in the Corporation Street car park, has been shortlisted in the top three of the Best Farmers’ Market category in the Taste of Kent Awards.

Miss Le Breton said: “It was first set up in the castle moat in 2000 with about 15 stalls. On Sunday there were 28 stalls.

Kate Bradley buys some cheese from Doreen Bowyer at Ashmore Cheese

Kate Bradley buys some cheese from Doreen Bowyer at Ashmore Cheese

"The community has remained very supportive of the idea and it has become part of Rochester.

“Also, a recent survey has show there is little difference in price in supermarkets. The difference is that people know what they are getting and the quality tends to be better.”

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