On the back of the success of the fortnightly Douglas Foodies Market that launched in June 2023, the Manx Food Market Traders Association is reaching out to local farmers and producers to recruit new traders ahead of launching its second Foodies Market in Port Erin, planned for Spring this year.
“The Manx FMTA is all about creating a flourishing foodies culture on the Isle of Man and celebrates diversity and quality of Manx fresh produce and locally created food and drink. We created our first foodies market, when producers told us their biggest challenge was finding a regular and cost effective way of reaching potential customers to help them build a steady demand and grow their businesses. We now have over 30 regular traders offering produce that ranges from fresh meat and seafood, seasonal veg, savoury and sweet bakes to street food dishes from around the world. Each and everyone of them are now growing and investing in their business, based on the response of the public who turn out on all weather so they can discover and support a broad range of local food in a simple one stop shop.”
The positive commercial impact of the Douglas Foodies Market for Douglas City Centre Management, as well as its image of offering a broad range of amenities for local residents has led to Port Erin to offer to be the host for a second Foodies Market.
“The Board has been planning a new public square in Port Erin for a number of years with several exercises of public engagement undertaken throughout 2023, with the ambition of creating a new, vibrant commercial and social heart for our residents as well as a destination for visitors. We believe that a regular Foodies Market in our new public square will help us achieve this in a way that is practical and appreciated by our residents whilst helping local producers and the Manx economy overall, which is why Port Erin Commissioners is pleased to be working together with the Manx FMTA to make this happen.", Mr Godfrey Egee, Chair of Port Erin Commissioners.
One of things that the Manx FMTA was saddened to discover when setting up their first market was, that without a regular place for small scale and grass root producers to sell their produce many had existing producers has scaled back their output and very few new producers had set-up in recent years. As such, finding traders who had produce to bring to the market has been more of a challenge than they anticipated. An active campaign targeting small producers and farmers is being launched to reach potential new traders and share with them how the Manx FMTA can support them with growing their local sales.
“Launching our first Foodies Market in Summer last year led to challenges ensuring that the market had a broad and steady range of fresh produce available as decisions on what and how much to produce would have been made this time last year. A time when the idea of a market hadn’t even been considered. This is why we are reaching out to members of the farming community who are not aware of the new opportunities we are offering them and find out how best we can support them.”
“The Douglas Foodies market has become a key outlet for our produce. Their ethos of finding creative ways to make it easy for producers to sell at their markets, such as creating groups of traders that share the manning of the stalls so they do not have to commit to attending every market also showed us that they understand the everyday challenges time starved farmers face. This is why we are helping to promote their two open meetings and ensure that as many farmers on the island as possible can take advantage of what they have to offer.” Elliot Cureton, founder of Thrive Farms, a community-owned farm who strive to put food security into the hands of the Manx public and guide the Isle of Man to self-sustainability.
Open meetings - all welcome
Wednesday 17 January 6-8pm, St. Catherine's Church Hall Port Erin
Wednesday 31 January 6-8pm, St Paul’s Church Hall, Ramsey
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE PORT ERIN MEETING
The Manx FMTA is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers with the ambition establishing a flourishing foodies culture on the Isle of Man through establishing new markets, supporting existing regular food markets and developing new and easier ways for local producers to sell to the public and provide a regular and sizeable business opportunity so they can grow their
Added 11 January 2024