Out and about — what markets are doing

At WARRINGTON Market Operations Manager Paul Blaney says they have managed to keep the market alive and open for business — “albeit with only a handful of traders”.
He added: “We’re working hard to keep the ship afloat and have spent the last few weeks developing new opportunities for traders, including an online shop and a unique ‘click and collect, contactless, drive-thru market’.”

The idea is that customers simply order and pay for goods online and then collect the following day from a new ‘drive-thru’ collection point. On arrival, traders will place the goods in the boot (so customers can safely remain in their vehicle).
“It’s ideal  for those in forced isolation or those just nervous about shopping in a physical store.”

At EASINGWOLD the Friday market is continuing to operate for the benefit of the local community and the traders.
Assistant clerk at the town council Jean Fairbrother said:
“We have reduced this to food and pet food stalls only and are giving a rent holiday to ALL of our permanent traders until the COVID-19 crisis is over.”
The council has put social distancing measures in place and organised queueing.
“The response from stall holders and customers alike has been extremely positive,” she added.
“Customers tell us they feel safer purchasing fresh food in an open air market than they do in some of the supermarkets.”

STOCKPORT Market has introduced three initiatives to help keep the town’s shoppers safe during the crisis.  The market hall was closed on March 24  a telephone and online ordering service has been introduced for essential food businesses, with either park & collect, drive by or home delivery options.
Market Manager Donna Tuxford said:
“By making the decision to close the market hall and replace it with these alternative measures we have significantly reduced risk of cross-contamination for the public, and as our traders are able to put orders together with fewer staff we have reduced risk to those employed in the market.
The ordering and the delivery elements of this service are being administered by management company Market Place staff volunteers.
The simple initiatives allow shoppers to choose from a selection of seasonal produce boxes and telephone or email their order through to a dedicated ordering hotline for either collection or home delivery.
Shoppers choosing to collect are allocated a collection time when they will be allowed to either drive alongside the market following social distancing, where a Market Place team member will place the order in the customers vehicle or place the order at a designated point outside of the building so there is no need for shoppers to get out of their car.
For shoppers unable to collect a home delivery service operated by Market Place team volunteers is available where produce will be delivered to their doorsteps following social distancing.

At CULLOMPTON in Devon the bunch of volunteers running the monthly farmers market decided they weren’t going to let COVID-19 beat them.
Volunteer Sarah Jones said:
“When the COVID -19 horrors started it became obvious there was not going to be a Cullompton Spring Festival this year.  The local traders were disappointed as this is one of their biggest local events of the year.
“As time went on it was also questionable whether the normal food market should really happen in the High Street as they certainly didn’t want to encourage any public gathering.”
But then the farmers market, which has been run for almost 22 years by volunteers as a community venture, had the idea of taking the produce to the customers’ doors, still supplying a service to the community. The scheme was set up within a week, with orders and payment mainly on line or on the phone. Deliveries were collated and delivered by a band of volunteer producers.
“So far the feedback has been amazing!” Sarah said.
The offering is growing to include plants, milk, preserves, cakes, eggs, bread, cheese, pork, lamb, beef, venison, juice, cider, veg, fruit, charcuterie and soap.
The produce is delivered mainly fresh although some meats are frozen to allow more choice. Payments can be done by BACs or over the phone so there is no contact with the customer or vice versa. With the scheme being so successful, it is now operating fortnightly until further notice. Delivery is free within a 5 miles radius of Cullompton and a small charge for beyond, up to 15 miles.
For details visit the website: www.cullomptonfarmersmarket.co.ukor Facebook: Cullompton Farmers Market

WOOLWICH outdoor market in south London has been kept open and the council has offered its support to traders.
Council representative Antony Gerard said that currently four fruit and veg traders, two hot food traders and one coffee stall were trading on a daily basis from Monday to Saturday.
“Our fruit and veg traders has also been helping out with contribution to the NHS food bank through any surplus stock,” he added.
“We are also looking at providing a rent free period for all our traders and discussions around it are being taken at a higher level.”
He said they had had no issues with how  traders and shoppers had been adhering to the two metres social distancing guidelines, with markers placed on the floors.