Chiswick Farmers & Fine Foods Market To Continue

"Small farmers need the public's support more than ever"

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Mike Belcher from March House Farm will be attending Chiswick Market at Dukes Meadows this Sunday. Mike has been a regular at the market since it started in September 2000 selling his home reared beef, Masham lamb and Gloucester Old Spot pork.

March House Farm is in Melton Mowbray, not a restricted zone so there is no problem with him coming to Chiswick. The restriction on movement of livestock will, however, cause a problem if it isn’t lifted soon as Mike, along with other farmers, will not be able to send animals to the abattoir and so will run out of stock.

Dukes Meadows Trust, organiser of the market, is following DEFRA advice in continuing. Paul Allen Trustee said “it is hard to see these farmers, who work so hard and British agriculture suffering again. Support for the market has been terrific and we hope that this will continue at a time when the farmers really need it”.

Kathleen Healy of Dukes Meadows Trust said, “The farmers who sell at Chiswick Market do not rear intensively nor are their animals transported over large distances. They are bred on the farm, killed locally in small abattoirs, and sold by the farmers themselves. These farmers are fighting against the commercial pressures that create the need for intensive farming; they are opting out of the wholesale food distribution system. This movement is still in its infancy and it would be a tragedy if this outbreak, jeopardised its future.

"More than ever the farmers selling at Farmers Markets need public support, and we hope that the terrific support enjoyed in the past will continue. As a gesture of support we will not be charging any of our meat producers a stall fee this week end. We will keep in regular contact with MAFF and will continue to follow their advice”

August 9, 2007