Covent Garden ruling is welcomed –

Covent Garden ruling is welcomed Published:  21 June, 2006

DEFRA today welcomed the House of Lords’ decision to allow, for the

first time, face-to-face trading of meat and fish at New Covent

Garden Market, Nine Elms in central London.

The Lords’ decision overturns an earlier Court of Appeal ruling which

supported the Corporation of London’s Application for Judicial Review

of Defra’s decision to authorise such trading. The Corporation of

London’s Application for Judicial Review was initially rejected by

the High Court.

Jeff Rooker, Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food, said:

“We welcome the House of Lords’ decision today to allow tenants at

New Covent Garden Market to trade face-to-face with buyers

in meat and fish as well as fruit, vegetables and flowers.”

“Now, for the first time, customers will be able to meet all their

needs at a one-stop shop under one market roof.”

“This decision will help to support and sustain the market in the

years ahead because it takes into account the changing nature of the

demands placed upon it, especially from London’s restaurant and

catering trade.

“It remains the Government’s policy to disengage from its

involvement in the running of New Covent Garden Market,

as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.

“But in doing so we will aim to secure arrangements that

maintain the Market as a going concern so that it is able to accommodate the businesses which are established there and develop for itself a viable and sustainable future.”

Legislation governing New Covent Garden Market

requires the consent of the Secretary of State

before trading in non-horticultural products, subject to

consideration of the circumstances of each case.

New Covent Garden Market is the leading wholesale market for fresh

fruit, vegetables and flowers and the leading centre for specialist

catering distributors in London. There are some 250 companies at the

site employing over 2,500 people. The Market’s annual total turnover

is over #500 million. For more information see