Produce shareholders 'under threat'

THE proposed move of Sandwich market from the town centre car park to the Guildhall forecourt could have a disastrous effect on local producers. The WI market is held in a building there that is rented from the council and its producers say moving the rest of the market will isolate them from shoppers.

The WI Country Markets is a limited company and all the produce is sold for the shareholders, who are contributors to the market and sell their goods to earn money. The Sandwich branch has an annual turnover of £37,000.

They also claim the market is now so small because stall holders are being driven away by the prices Hughmark International, which is employed by the district council to run the market, charge for the pitches. There are about 60 WI Country Markets shareholders from Sandwich and the district, including some men, aged from 25 to 80. They sell baking, plants, vegetables and crafts.

Many helpers also volunteer their services to run the market on Thursday mornings. According to the district council, they are discussing alternative ways to run the market with Sandwich Town Council, and the subject will be reviewed early next year.

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