Edinburgh Farmers Market reaches double century Published: 22 May, 2007
EDINBURGH Farmers Market will be celebrating its 200th early morning wake-up call this Saturday, as organiser Edinburgh City Centre Management (ECCM) marks the occasion with the release of 200 red balloons into the sky above Castle Terrace.
Caroline Hamilton of Mrs Hamiltons Organic Beef and Lamb – the markets longest-serving stallholder – will do the honours at 11am prompt on Saturday morning at the market’s Castle Terrace home.
Edinburgh Farmers Market (EFM) began as a monthly event run by the City of Edinburgh Council in 2000.
Responsibility for the operation of the market passed to Edinburgh City Centre Management (ECCM) in early 2001 and in the wake of the foot and mouth epidemic ECCM upped the operation to a twice-monthly event on the first and third Saturday of every month from June 2001.
In May 2005, ECCM took the decision to move the market to a weekly operation, with the support of then sponsor, ScottishPower. ScottishPowers sponsorship of the market ran from 2003 to 2005.
EFM has been recognised as the UK leader in two awards announced last November. The event came first in the National Farmers Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) awards to find Britains best farmers market, quickly followed by regional and national awards in Country Life magazine and Strutt & Parkers search to discover Britains favourite farmers market.
Both awards represent a significant achievement for ECCM and Edinburgh, as 550 markets currently operate across the UK.
EFM is the largest and most successful in Scotland, with over 70 producers currently registered as trading stallholders, including a number of seafood suppliers.
Edinburgh is also the only Scottish market to run weekly at one location.
Annual footfall through the Farmers’ Market is estimated at 300,000 people, with a weekly average of around 6,000 (10,000 during peak seasons). The average customer spend at each market is around £20.
Recent economic impact figures show that the market adds £1.16 million to the rural economy and £800,000 to the city centre economy each year.
Farmers and producers come from across Scotland and northern England to trade at the Edinburgh market. Several of the markets producers are national food industry award-winners in their own right.
In addition, EFM is a registered Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue and recently became one of only 13 Scottish Farmers Markets to be awarded accreditation by national tourism body, VisitScotland.
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