OUR DEDICATED FARMER PRODUCER LINE IS 020 7833 5007 MON- FRI 9-5
Save the date!
The news this week is that 19th July marks the end of COVID restrictions. Whilst the Government says they're 'very confident' that lockdown restrictions will be lifted then who knows if this will be the case!
We all still need to be cautious so please; continue to wear face coverings and keep your distance. Outdoors is safer and customers know that. We will still keep an eye on queues especially for hot food and maintain layouts that spread out as much as possible. Some councils will be slow to relax their requirements so expect some differences across markets. We have to follow each local authorities advice across London and there are variations. Where cafes have offered the use of toilets again we have removed portaloos as real loos are far more sanitary then temporary ones.
Plastic bag charges; a reminder that there is a new law in place which means you must charge 10p per bag; there are some caveats in place where you don't need to charge so please read.
There are 5 Saturdays and 4 Sundays this month! Please be aware especially if you're still in an attending every other week mindset because you may be turned away from your market if you turn up on the wrong week.
July the 31st is the 5th Saturday and August the first is the 1st Sunday so if you are not a weekly stall your delivery schedule may need adjusting through August. Please plan for this and if in doubt please call us!
Notting Hill; Thank you for your patience whilst we deal with fly tipping issues at Notting Hill. We’d like to remind all farmers and producers that market waste should be taken away after market rather than adding to the existing problem.
Acceptable behaviour. This time last year we had to include a link to our rules about acceptable behaviour at markets. Sadly we've got to do so again.
Please refer to rule 20 that you agreed to when you accepted our offer to trade at the markets. Such behaviour or threats in any work place or public place will not be tolerated in relation to anyone at the markets including other stallholders, our staff, market managers and customers. We will take swift action against anyone / any business engaging or ignoring this sort of behaviour to ensure it does not take place on the markets.
Direct Debit Project Update; Our Islington and Twickenham markets are having fees collected by Direct Debit now. This means no more payments at market, just turn up, trade and go. No carrying cash or cheques to pay the fees and no counting money out at market.
South Kensington fees will be collected by Direct Debit from the 3rd of July with High Street Kensington, Queens Park and West Hampstead markets planned for August. In September we will be busy with the launch of the new markets and re-opening of Imperial & Bloomsbury (see below) so roll-out will then pause until October.
Gated sites; often our managers are waiting a long time for drivers to turn up to pick up your kit. Please can you ask your staff to take their kit outside the market and not leave on site. This only applies to gated sites.
New markets; we're hoping to open new markets in September and reopen Imperial and Bloomsbury. Please talk to Ian if you're interested in attending.
Consumers are turning to local products and 'clean' labels. The latest survey shows that people are keener than ever on local produce, but they're also getting better at reading labels and paying attention to what's on them.
On the 1st October 2021 new legislation will be introduced to ensure that foods pre-packed for direct sales will have a full list of ingredients and allergins displayed clearly on the packaging. If you're not already doing this please make sure that you get your labelling up to date in time for the change in law.
With the relaxation many customers will have no doubt left the capital to see family and friends or to go on holiday, this has impacted on sales and this half term holiday could be quiet too. However on the bright side a lot of staycations are planned this summer as air travel still looks very risky, this should mean a busier July and August, keep us posted on how its going through the summer. To help with this lull we are carrying out leaflet distributions across all markets to help give the markets a push and attract new customers.
Leaflet drops in June at Blackheath, Ealing, Marylebone, Parliament Hill, Twickenham, West Hampstead.
AA signs applied for in Balham, South Kensington and Pimlico.
Lamp post banners going up at Swiss Cottage and applied for in Walthamstow and Parliament Hill.
Leaflet drops in September at Islington, Notting Hill, Queens Park, Balham, Notting Hill/High St Kensington, Wimbledon.
Direct Debit Payments have started at Islington farmers market. The introduction has gone very smoothly so far and Twickenham farmers market will follow from June with all the other markets gradually moving away from cash on the day payments over the next 12 months. We still have a few issues to sort out with the reports managers submit to us but that won't impact on your payments. The move away from cash has been dramatic in the last year and this is the best solution all round, it means a fairly automated process each week which ensures you no longer have to deal with lots of receipt stubs each week and you also do not need to remember to pay lots of weekly invoices. Less paperwork all round which has to be a good thing. If you have comments about these changes please get in touch. Please make sure you report to us in advance if you plan to miss a market or you will be charged.
Weekday markets at Bloomsbury and Imperial are pencilled in for September- If the students are there we want to be there too. A new market for September is on the cards for Saturdays in Willesden, information will be sent out soon. We are working on some other ideas for September too.
Plastic bag charges; new law in place which means you must charge 10p per bag; there are some caveats so please read.
Sampling on stalls
Sampling can resume from this weekend but the following rules must be observed by stallholders. These rules are permanent and will apply to sampling after covid recedes.
1 - Individual samples only, provided from the stall direct to a customer- no communal bowls or plates with samples on out front for people to touch.
2 - No cocktail sticks or plastic sampling cups are permitted, they create too much waste which is dropped on the ground and difficult to clear up after market. Chip forks or wooden coffee stirrers may be used instead of a cocktail stick
3 - Customers must be handed their sample on a napkin or in a paper condiment cup for drinks.
Drink sample cups can be found here:
Stalls will be allowed to serve hot food open for consumption on the market again from Saturday 22nd May. You must continue to ensure that your cooking arrangements remain covid secure:
1 - Staff must wear masks
2 - No communal condiments out front. You must ask customers if they want ketchup / relish and serve it for them. Again, this is a permanent change to the way we work.
3 - Queens Park. Stalls serving to the outside of the market at Queens Park must continue to do so.
Plastic bag charges; new law in place please read.
Plastics and packaging
The latest research shows that consumers are still very passionate about saving the planet see HERE.
They want to be able to buy produce in earth friendly packaging, or to be able to use their own bags and containers which we very much encourage. More info on packaging in the March news below.
All banners are out. If you've not received yours yet please let us know. If you've not sent us a photo of your winning banner please do.
Thank you for wearing a face covering at market; it makes customers feel more secure shopping at your stall. We know it's not the law but there's been lots of discussions about it including comments on The Today Programme from The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. If you're selling hot food you must wear one.
If you don't have one on your stalls please make sure you get one! We recommend Square.
Please don't forget yours if you're bringing ready to eat foods, breads, quiches, cakes etc. You can use plastic film or a barrier, whichever is easiest for you but you MUST do it at every market you attend.
A new batch of vouchers are in circulation to customers who won the favourite stall competition at your market. If you receive one in payment can you please send a photo of them together with your bank details and which market, so that we can make payment to you.
On the ground?
If you're selling at a market where customers are bringing dogs in please don't put crates on produce at ground level unless you want bread/fruit/veg to be peed on! Please put produce at least 3 crates above ground level.
Music at markets
It's a sensitive issue which is why we only have live music at certain markets and none at others. We've not had music during the COVID crisis because we want customers to leave, not linger. Please check with the market manager before playing loud music on speakers or phones.
Flowers; if you're still using plastic film that can't be recycled can you consider this?
Kampac Eco Disposables.
If you're looking for a new packaging supplier, Kampac have got in touch with us. They supply eco-friendly compostable and sustainable food packaging. www.kampac.co.uk
[email protected] or call them on 0203 795 8217
If you're packaging products can you please make it clear whether the packaging can be recycled?
Some of you have dedicated staff who do your posts and social media for you. Please can you share their contact details with Cheryl so that she can contact them directly?
Mission Kitchen, a new commercial kitchen and flexible workspace for food entrepreneurs is opening this spring by New Covent Garden Market in Vauxhall. They're the place for small businesses, growing brands and professional food makers of every kind in need of proper kitchen space to upgrade their prep, production or product development. They also want to make food fairer, actively supporting business owners and learners from under-represented groups, providing bursaries to people who otherwise might not be able to pay for membership, and providing training and mentorship to help people develop the skills they need to start a business.
To celebrate their launch, they are inviting a limited number of founding members to join them for an exclusive two month soft launch period, joining a hand-picked group of food entrepreneurs with early access to the site, half-price membership, exclusive offers and the chance to shape what Mission Kitchen becomes. Head over to their page or website at missionkitchen.org
We're sending emails to customers weekly and it would be great to have your news to share with them. Did last weeks storms affect you? Whether it's what you're planting, what's happening on your farms and fishing boats, cuts of meat you want to promote, a new product, something coming into season please let us know.
Happy New Year!
The good news is that markets remain open during this current period of lockdown. We must however increase our focus on the markets being a safe environment for customers and stallholders.
For hot food stalls this means food must be served in closed containers and customers told that they must not eat it on site. Managers will stop hot food stalls from cooking if their queue is long and interferes with customer flow or if customers are staying on the market to eat so please ensure the message is clear to customers that they must take their food away and manage your queues. If you are preparing hot food to eat you must now wear a face covering
We ask that all stallholders wear face coverings during market hours and, while we understand that they are not mandatory, we would strongly recommend wearing them. Customers feel safer when people are wearing them and we have good evidence that customers are beginning to avoid stalls where staff are not wearing a face covering so this is will affect your business.
Markets remain open as an essential service as they did during Lockdown, the dates below and above are still accurate. Temporary toilets will be reinstated ASAP in January at markets where they are required. We would urge you to consider additional screens and masks for your staff in the NEW YEAR. A 'nearly' normal service will resume with all markets open as usual on the 2nd and 3rd January 2020. Further updates about any changes will be posted here on the 5th January 2021
A huge thank you to all of you for selling under extreme conditions this year. It's not been easy for any of us.
There have been some huge positives too High Street Ken has got off to a great start and its been really good to see Balham and Blackheath doing so well.
We've received so many compliments from customers, delighted to see you, happy to be able to buy fresh, seasonal produce, to chat with you at markets. For many it's been their only outing of the week, and their lifeline. Lots of people have discovered your produce for the first time and we hope that it's a habit they continue to follow next year.
If you've not been able to get to markets this year, we hope that you are well and able to return next year.
Customer have been asking whether the markets are going ahead under Tier 3 and of course, they are. Food markets remain vital resources. The last market of the year for most markets will be 23rd December. For Blackheath and Queens Park it will be 27th December. We return as normal on the 2nd and 3rd January 2021. If you can't attend early January markets please can you let Ian know.
If you have any concerns or challenges about 2021 drop us a line when you have 5 minutes to think about the year ahead
We wish you a very happy Christmas, and a very happy New Year. Hope you get time to relax with your families.
This year has advanced the demise of cash payments by customers on the markets and the knock on effect will mean that we need to change the way you pay the fees and means finding a new solution for everyone. A survey we carried out at one market said that customers had changed their habits in the last few months and 50% of customers now ONLY use card (they dont carry cash anymore). The current cash arrangements will not be sustainable in the long term as fewer and fewer stalls will have cash to pay the fees on the day and having a situation where some stalls pay by cash, some by bank payment and some by credit card is not manageable in the long term. The simplest solution for all concerned when it comes to regular payments is a direct debit solution. This will mean working out your average payment at a market over the last few months to a year or from an audit and then setting this up as a fixed weekly payment, you will be emailed a VAT invoice. We are working with a provider at the moment and expect to test the first market in early 2021. Most stalls pay very similar fees throughout the year with only a little variation week to week so an average fee will just even out payments across the year. Your new fixed average fees will be kept at the right level by audits very similar to what we do now.
On a related point: if you don't have a card reader at every market yet use the Christmas break to get them ready for 2021- you are losing sales if 50% of customers cannot shop with you!
This will start again in 2021 ( a small number of outside visits have been completed in 2020). We are keen to get out to see what you are growing and what's new. Clearly social distancing outside on visits is easier than inside, but if you want us to wear a mask or whatever you need us to do to keep the visits safe please let us know.
If bird flu has affected you in any way please let us know. If it's similar to last time, with eggs that have to be sold as free range instead of organic, we can write a piece explaining why to customers.
We have added High Street Kensington to the list of markets we will run on the 23rd December and we will open at Queens Park and Blackheath on the 27th December. Let Ian know if you would like to attend any of these additional markets or any of those already announced (see below) as there are a few spaces left.
Extra Christmas market dates Wednesday 23rd December
10am-1pm Parliament Hill, West Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Islington, Blackheath, Marylebone, Queens Park
9am-12pm Balham, Wimbledon, Pimlico, South Ken and Notting Hill.
Twickenham, Ealing and High Street Kensington will be for collections only on the 23rd.with no manager as we won't get permission to use the space; we will reserve some space for stalls wanting to attend to distribute orders from vans.
Stall audits are continuing; auditors have been given COVID guidance and a risk assessment has been carried out. Our team must wear a mask if in / on your stall. As usual it is easier to carry out an audit if your staff cooperate which means sharing sales info and speaking loudly or writing down the sales transaction which will mean our team can keep their distance. We are happy for businesses to share sales data / transaction history with us from their card machines which may reduce the need for regular audits at the stall in the future. If you’d prefer this method of audit then please let us know.
We are specifically looking at businesses who never vary their payments to us especially at busier times of the year. We are disappointed at the number of recent audits already showing routine underpayments. Businesses who demonstrate a clear lack of interest in reporting accurate sales from week to week will be charged a fixed minimum fee going forward and this is likely to be higher than the rate we find on an audit, especially when there is a wide margin of error. We have worked very hard to keep the markets open this year with huge additional staffing costs, it is simply not fair for a majority of businesses to pay the correct fee according to sales and others to try and get away with paying less. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
We're trying to ensure that customers are not eating hot food within the market. All hot food must be sold closed and ready to take off-site to avoid lingering and overcrowding
No samples of any kind are allowed to be offered.- please don't use cocktail sticks at all the make a real mess and schools in particular hate them.
The second lockdown is here but all our markets are going ahead this weekend. There will be no changes to the way we currently operate but we will keep hot food and drink sales under review and if we find they are encouraging people to linger at markets we may have to suspend them as we did during the last lockdown.
Portaloos have been distributed to all markets where they are needed with the exception of South Kensington where there was an issue with delivery. There is a public toilet available outside South Kensington tube station but you will need a 20p to use it!
We may be putting down chalk marks to help guide your queues in busy markets or congested areas. Please encourage your staff to wear masks if they are working in close proximity to customers.
8 Oct 2020
September brought queues back to many markets where we're limiting numbers. We're moving people through as fast as we can by encouraging customers to shop alone, not to hang around for long and to take hot food out of the market, we expect to keep entrance queues shorter to help your sales but please serve quickly and encourage customers to move on it will help everyone's sales.
Please continue to stay safe; keep your distance from customers as much as you can. Wash your hands with soap and water as much as possible or use hand sanitiser especially after using the loo. Avoid touching surfaces and do not touch your face. Do not socialise with neighbouring stalls.
Make sure you have hand sanitizer on your stalls. If you're sick, stay home!
Use a selfie stick for card readers, tape them to your gazebo legs or place at the front of your stall. If you're still only taking cash please do consider accepting card payments. It's become the most commonly asked question from customers.
Important - Invoicing for stall fees
We had been invoicing for a few stall fees that could not be paid on the day because of a lack of cash. We are no longer doing this because we still need to focus our staff resources on keeping the markets open and not chasing unpaid invoice payments or payments made in error. It is simpler to pay on the day for everyone; stalls expect to get paid on the day and for the time being so do we. We are working on an electronic payment solution so fees can be paid without CASH but it will take sometime to put in place, one system, so something that will suit everyone.
We now require stall fees to be paid at market with cash or a cheque. Stallholders that have struggled to pay with cash have found using cheques works well. Please make arrangements to have cash to pay fees or to get a cheque book from your bank for the purpose.
We encourage all our customers and stallholders to wear a mask at our markets.
The legal position however, as far as we understand, is that masks are not mandatory. The Cabinet Office issued the following clarification to the trade association NABMA earlier this week:
“The new measures will extend the requirement to wear a face covering to staff where it already exists for customers in retail environments. This would therefore apply to all indoor market settings (where it currently applies to customers) but not outdoor market settings (where it currently does not).”
Market opening times
Markets are opening early if all stalls are set up and vehicles removed and it's safe to do so. Managers are being asked to ring the market bell to mark the opening time so it's clear to everyone when the market is open.
Track and Trace
All closed sites are being given Track and Trace signs that customers can opt to scan and check in.
Hot Food Lines
We're ensuring that customers are not eating hot food within the market. All hot food must be sold closed and ready to takeaway off-site. This is to help move numbers through the market, especially on gated sites with queues. Please make sure that your HACCP is up to date including COVID secure measures. You will need to continue with COVID measures including not putting out cutlery or condiments, sealing containers and making it clear to customers that the food is to take away and not eat on site. You will also need handwashing and exceptional personal hygiene on your stalls. If your queues are unmanageable or the market is too congested with people eating we will stop hot food sales again.
No samples at all please. We realise that this is different from previous advice but it's been confusing for some stall holders and our managers keep finding cocktail sticks on the ground so it's easier to say no to all sampling.
Keep your distance
Please do not socialise in groups with other stallholders or customers and keep 2m from each other. Don’t get too close to your neighbouring stall, bring a side sheet to help. Come to market to sell and then leave. It is very easy to be complacent and to forget that there is a pandemic and you are vulnerable.
'Our' scammer is back at markets; he was spotted at Islington two weeks ago and sadly, fooled a stall holder into handing over cash. It's the same old story; he approaches a stall holder, usually a woman on their own and says he's come from the boss with a request to collect cash to pay for something (vehicle parts etc). He'll pretend to call to confirm. DO NOT HAND OVER ANY CASH. We've been sharing this same message for years but because it doesn't trickle down, your stall holders are continuing to get scammed. Please let all of your stall holders know. Share the link to this news with everyone who works for/with you. Managers should have leaflets with his image to hand out if requested and two images of him are below.
If this happens to you, call the police and alert the market manager. If you can call whilst he's at the market it's a 999 call.
Away from markets?
If you have spent an extended time away from markets because of personal issues or shielding we will do our best to find you a space on our markets but we cannot guarantee to offer you a space immediately when you want to return, or to give you the same schedule or markets you were at before you took time out, any concerns please get in touch.
Customers continue to say thank you, every week that our markets have remained open and thanks should be shared with the managers and stewards who have put themselves on the front line with you through this difficult time.
High Street Kensington: opened two weeks ago. It could replace Notting Hill once building works begin there but for the moment it's a sister market every Sunday, a lovely tree lined road which we get to close to traffic for 4 hours which the local residents are really enjoying.
Queens Park Lates: On FRIDAYS, has paused weekly from this week until the Spring. But we have some exciting seasonal special dates for Halloween- 30th October and pre Christmas -27th Nov and 4th and 11th Dec. If you want to attend with Christmas goodies let us know.
Parliament Hill Sundays: It's still early days, we do need a few more stalls to attend and remember if it rains on Saturdays through the winter customers won't always queue but they will come out on a Sunday if you are there.
Imperial: We hope to reopen soon discussions with the college are advanced we are waiting for a date.
Bloomsbury: Unfortunately has been put back until 2021, we are targeting a date of 1st April 2021. We have been discussing options with the colleges and finding out when students will be back. We may open with a smaller number of stalls and rotate stalls to test demand. News on the hospital markets is still limited; we will update you as soon as we can.
We know that a few of you are already advertising Christmas poultry orders. Please let us know if you have any information you want shared with customers. If you won't be attending Christmas markets and doing drop offs please let us know. We reported earlier this year about consumer research that said many people were planning to splurge on a good Christmas instead of taking an expensive holiday this year so we hope that all your orders will be healthy.
Extra Christmas market dates Wednesday 23rd December - YES all on one day!
10am-1pm Parliament Hill, West Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Islington, Blackheath, Queens Park
9am-12pm Balham, Wimbledon and Notting Hill.
Subject to council permission;
9am -noon Pimlico and South Ken
10am – 1pm Marylebone and Walthamstow
Twickenham, and Ealing will be for collections only on the 23rd.with no manager as we won't get permission to use the space; we will reserve some space for stalls wanting to attend to distribute orders from vans.
MARKETS CLOSED 26th DEC
Please let Ian know by 16th October if you'd like to attend, even if it's not your usual market. Can you also please let him know if you'll be doing orders and dropping off outside of market hours so we can inform customers.
Markets will then reopen on the 2nd and 3rd January. If you're not going to attend PLEASE let Ian know.
Still getting requests for lard from high high welfare pigs. Is anyone making it?
That's all from us for now. Any feedback you'd like to share?
All of us at LFM
As the school holidays start we have seen the usual exodus from London, more so in some cases as people have been allowed to travel for the first time in 3 months. Customers will be back, but there will be a few slow weeks to come.
To start on a serious note we have received a complaint about sexualised comments and harassment across more than one market and involving more than one business. Please do not assume that this relates to your business but we wanted everyone to know. We consider the matter serious enough that we should write to everyone to remind every business that this is not acceptable behaviour at our markets.
Please refer to rule 20 that you agreed to when you accepted our offer to trade at the markets. Such behaviour in any work place or public place will not be tolerated in relation to anyone at the markets including other stallholders, our staff and customers. We will take swift action against anyone / any business engaging or ignoring this sort of behaviour to ensure it does not take place on the markets.
For the avoidance of doubt sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:
-Intrusive sexually explicit questions
-Rating a person’s sexual attractiveness
-Unwelcome patting, hugging or touching of a person’s body, hair or clothing
-Offensive or suggestive sexual comments
-Disparaging remarks to a person about her/his gender, body or gender identity
-Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements
-Jokes about sex or gender stereotypes
It is everyone’s responsibility to act with mutual respect. Our markets should be a comfortable working environment for everybody. Harassment of any sort is not something anyone should have to put up with. If you see or hear anything you are concerned about please email the office or mention it to a manager. London Farmers Markets encourage everyone to report any concerns or complaints about sexual harassment to us or to the relevant authorities and we will take appropriate action.
It's now time to change the message we are giving out to customers. We will be focusing on the positives our markets offer, the main one being that we are outdoors which we hope will encourage even more customers to try the markets in September.
You are now allowed to socially distance at 'one metre plus', but the advice is still to stick to two metres where you can, to protect yourself from catching coronavirus. Masks or face coverings are not required outdoors but you can wear them if you think your circumstance require them.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE HAND SANITIZER ON ALL YOUR STALLS.
Please do not socialise in groups with other stallholders or customers and keep 2m from each other. Don’t get too close to your neighbouring stall, bring a side sheet to help. Come to market to sell and then leave. It is very easy to be complacent and to forget that there is a pandemic and that you are vulnerable.
To minimise the risk of transmission via surface contact, you should:
Regularly wash your hands using soap and water or use hand sanitiser especially after using the loo. Avoid touching surfaces and do not touch your face.
Current measures at markets with gates will stay in place until September when we will review them in relation to government advice, but more customers will be let in from August and you shouldn't see any queues outside the market for the time being. We have increased numbers of customers onto gated sites in line with social distancing updates. There are now shorter queues outside and more shoppers in the market and we will continue to improve on this where possible. The stewards will stay for the time being to prevent congestion on sites and to help managers with problems but less chalk and more common sense! Temporary toilets are being removed where there are more hygienic cafes and alternatives nearby.
We hope to reopen South Ken & Bloomsbury mid-week markets in October. We have been discussing options with the colleges and finding out when students will be back. We may open with a smaller number of stalls and rotate stalls to test demand. News on the hospital markets is limited; we will update you as soon as we can.
We have launched Queens Park Lates on Fridays which has gone well and Parliament Hill on Sundays which has been a bit slow to start. Customer surveys shows that less than 50% of customers shop at these markets weekly on their existing days of operation. We will therefore give them more options to shop on a different day and to try at the same time to reduce the length of queues outside now before winter. We will get your feedback and review their performance in September. It’s likely that Queens Park Lates will take a seasonal break when the school returns in September and will mainly feature hot food.
We've introduced hot cooked food back into markets.
If you aren’t cooking yet please get ready. Please make sure that your HACCP is up to date including COVID secure measures.
You will need to continue with COVID measures including not putting out cutlery or condiments, sealing containers and making it clear to customers that the food is to take away and not eat on site. You will also need handwashing on the stall and exceptional personal hygiene on your stalls.
The secretary of state has granted permission for the development. There are a few more legal hurdles for them to get through but it now looks like the development is going ahead. We will keep you updated on time frames and alternative locations as soon as we have more information. We may have a new site ready to go and we are likely to trial this on Sundays rather than Saturdays with a September opening date.
NEW PROMO TRAILER HITS THE STREETS
Some of our markets take place in areas where local authorities limit or ban signs for markets and refuse planning permission for them. We think this is unfair and gives an advantage to big chains and shops over markets. Rather than moan about this we have designed and built a trailer which can take interchangeable signage panels and will be left in high profile locations to help boost our more hidden markets. Hopefully you will see it about.
Any feedback for us? It's the start of school holidays; whether we'll see the traditional downturn in sales at some markets remains to be seen; some markets were quiet last weekend but fewer people are expected to go overseas this summer.
Research shows consumers are planning a big Christmas instead of holidays abroad. ‘Treating’ is a key trend, with loyalty shifting to local shops and we hope, farmers markets!
Thank you to those of you who have managed to attend during COVID; we know it's not been easy. To those of you who are shielding, we miss you and hope to see you back at markets soon. If you have any news or updates please let us know.
Customers continue to share their gratitude every week that our markets have remained open and thanks should be shared with the managers and stewards who have put themselves on the front line with you through this difficult time.
If there is any news or info you'd like to share with customers, please let us know we have 1000's of customers on email who would love to hear about your products. We’d particularly like to hear from you if you sell meat/poultry/eggs/fish/dairy/game. It’s easier to promote seasonal fruit and vegetables and we’d like to be able to talk about your products too. We would also really appreciate it if you could share some up to date farm shots/portraits. It's been pointed out that some of the images we're using are (ahem) a few years old but if we don't have anything up to date, you'll keep your eternal youthfulness....
It is hard to predict what effect the relaxation of the social distancing rules and the re-opening of shops will have on the markets this weekend. We remain bound by the local authorities interpretations of the distancing rules for markets so you will see little or no discernable changes in layouts yet although we hope to get more customers through the markets in the coming weeks.At present we have increased costs and less stall space on the markets so it is vitally important to us to keep the markets as full as possible. With lockdown eased and the holiday season coming up we will now, where we don't recieve 10 days notice by email to [email protected], be charging no show fees automatically.Please ensure you have, at the very least, hand sanitiser for your staff on all your stalls from this weekend.
Last weekend was a bit quieter with shops now open and fathers day reducing queues outside. We are now letting more customers back into the market sites, space permitting and will continue to keep this under review to try and reduce queuing times further for customers
Hot food will now see a slow phased return back on to markets where there is space to queue, our priority is still for customers to do their shopping and we cannot afford to have people lingering in the market eating. We will contact you individually when this is permitted, it may still take sometime on gated markets. To ensure you are are ready you should update your HACCP and send it to us to demonstrate you have considered the issues around COVID. In addition to your own measure we will require the following:
NO SHARED CONDIMENTS / NAPKINS or CUTLERY
SEALED FOOD BOXES - and tell customers to eat outside of the market area- put the order on a table rather than risking direct contact with the customer
HAND SANITIZER FOR CUSTOMERS
REGULAR CLEANING OF SURFACES
NO EXTRA SPACE FOR COOKING use your existing stall area
QUEUE MANAGEMENT- simple menu and serve quickly - if you cause congestion we will stop you cooking.
Stall COVID Healthcheck
Have you updated your HACCP and risk assessments for your stalls?- now is the time to keep your staff and food safe - use this helpful guide https://www.nmtf.co.uk/info/bounceback/
We are not accepting invoice payments from any new businesses that have not already been issued with an invoice. We still urge everyone to send cash or cheques to markets to avoid making payments by invoice. We will be introducing an additional charge to pay by invoice so bringing cash or cheque will be the cheaper option. Invoices that are issued must be paid immediately or you will be prevented from trading at the following weeks markets.
We will continue with the ban on hot food sales inside the markets for the time being, for 2 main reasons; We want customers to shop quickly and leave so that we make space for more customers in the market as we have limited customer capacity due to social distancing. Eating in the market will increase the time customers spend in the market reducing the numbers we can let in. Queuing for Hot Food reduces space for social distancing in the market, so it will just cause more congestion. Where we can we will try and set up food hatches on some markets perimeters so that some stalls can serve hot food to customers outside of the market. We experimented with this last week at Queens Park and it was quite successful but it highlighted the above in that we do not need an additional queue of 10 people for hot food inside the market at the moment. We will consider requests for freshly baked products like pies in the market if they are boxed / bagged and sealed for take away. Grilled meats / BBQ's will not be permitted at the moment.
Wimbledon - protecting the tarmac surface from vehicle damage
We have come up with a plan to reduce the number of vehicles accessing the site and to reduce the number of vehicles turning on the surface. Most vehicles will now not be permitted to drive on to the playground at all - you will need to trolley your goods around from the car park. Any vehicles entering the playground will be given clear instructions on how to drive on. Most will be required to reverse on and to drive off in a straight line to avoid any turning. You will not be able to park behind your stall anymore unless we have given you clear permission
We have been getting reports of high prices for hand sanitiser from cash and carries and usual suppliers. Try this https://www.hivis.net/16297/covid-19-products/alcohol-free-hand-sanitizer/5ltr/ Large containers but just buy a pump and some smaller containers and make up your own small bottles for stalls or this one but its more expensive
Stalls with ready to eat foods are seeing higher sales when they put a barrier on the front of the stall. If you are selling ready to eat products and don't want to wrap your stall in clingfilm each week as a barrier, we saw this excellent solution at the weekend which is a clear vinyl table cloth if you buy some sticky velcro so that it sticks to the roof of your gazebo you have a great barrier for your staff and for your stall. The tablecloths are 3 m x 1.4 m so are a perfect size for the front of your stall. They are £5 each on amazon.
You can set up some empty crates at the side of your stall and take payment there
We are looking forward to the bank holiday weekend. The weather will continue to be kind if a little breezy here and there.
Lockdown rules have been relaxed but social distancing rules have not. We are continuing with the current market layouts with a few tweaks and controlling customer numbers to maintain space on the markets. Please bring side sheets for your gazebos if you have them so that we can place stalls next to each other with an effective screen between the people working on the stalls.
We must continue to take hygiene very seriously so please ensure you have hand washing/sanitising equipment on your stall and that it is laid out such that your seller can maintain distance between themselves and your customers.
There are still some stalls that are not taking sufficient cash to pay their fee and asking to be invoiced after the market. We cannot sustain the administartive burden of doing this. Please bring sufficient cash or a cheque to market to pay your fees on the day.
The latest government guidance on re-opening and/or adapting food businesses during the COVID - 19 outbreak can be found here: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-and-adapting-your-food-business-during-covid-19
A note on the ULEZ and Congestion charge which is now being charged again so make sure you pay before you drive into central London at the weekends: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/congestion-charge-zone
Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone - Transport for London
Congestion Charge: No charge 18:00-07:00 on weekdays or on weekends, public holidays or any days between Christmas Day (25 Dec) and New Year's Day (1 Jan) ULEZ: Operate midnight to midnight, every day of the year, except Christmas Day (25 Dec) LEZ: Operates midnight to midnight, every day of the year. Find out more about paying the Congestion ...
We have also been informed that the congestion charge will be payable at weekends in addition to ULEZ payments in the central area from 1st June which will directly impact all businesses attending the Marylebone market and others who drive though the centre. Pimlico Road Farmers Market is outside the zone just so you can avoid the congestion charge but the ULEZ payments will apply to all markets.In addition we expect traffic wardens to return to work this week and enforcement of single yellow lines to start again so if you have been chancing it you may now get a ticket especially at Pimlico – follow the advice to the free parking areas or pay by phone to park on a metre.
We continue to tweek market layouts to allow as many of you able to trade as possible. If you are at a market your stall is close to the stall next to you please bring side sheets for your gazebo if you have them, this will provide a barrier between you and the stallholder on the next stall.
Payments at market
We must re-iterate our request from last week that you bring CASH to market to pay your market fees. Alternatively some businesses have issued their staff with cheques made out to London Farmars Markets to be filled in with the fee amount at market which works well.
Last weekend was encouraging, customer numbers held up once again at all markets. We improved the market layout at Parliament Hill, Marylebone, Wimbledon to give everyone even more space. Due to allowing space for queues we have had to reduce stall numbers at most markets, some stalls have been requeuested to attend fortnightly to ensure that we can accomodate as many businesses as possible and we may have to look at less essential stalls attending less frequently at some markets. Layouts will keep changing as we try to improve queueing so do not expect to stay in the same location on each market.
Earls Court and Ladbroke Grove
Both markets have been performing poorly for sometime, we had decided to close Earls Court before the virus took hold and with the reduced footfall on portobello road at the moment there is no point continuing with just 3 stalls at Ladbroke Grove. Ladbroke Grove will close this weekend until further notice we may try and reopen. Earls Court will close Sunday 3rd May, there is some talk of a local group taking it on but we have heard nothing from the school to confirm this. With some of our staff away or isolating, like everyone we are working with a smaller pool of staff and we need to keep staff available to ensure the better performing markets can continue to remian open.
Testing food workers
Government roles out testing for key workers this includes those in food production and food retail so incudes you. It is now more important than ever that you and your staff do not come to markets if you feel ill or have any symptoms, now you and your families can get tested if you have any concerns to see if you are safe to travel.
Despite testing an invoice system in recent weeks we are unfortunatley not in a postion to continue with this at the moment and must request that you bring CASH to market to pay your market fees. We are currently spending thousands just to keep the markets open with extra staff and management on all markets and the head office team fully engagaed weekly at the markets helping with social distanicng, there just arent the office resources available to be managing a new invoicing system and checking who has paid and who hasn't. If you are currently just using card payments at market please send enough cash with your staff to pay the market fees at the end of the market on the day, most stalls pay a very similar amount each week so it should be possible to plan ahead.
With Easter behind us markets will be closer to capacity this week and our first priority remains ensuring that we maintain social distancing, keeping you and your customers safe.
OUR DEDICATED FARMER PRODUCER LINE IS 020 7833 5007 MON- FRI 9-5
Please don't call for updates, use the line for emergencies and to report attendance or to request more markets. Information about whether markets are open will be left here or emailed to you directly.
HAPPY EASTER. some stalls are having a weekend off so there will be more space so please use it. Please try and leave at least 1m gaps each side of your stall between your neighbours. Toilets have now been sorted at all markets - At Ealing the managers will have a pass to get you in to Sainsburys, at Pimlico we have arrangements in place with local shops, please ask the manger for details when you arrive, at Marylebone La Fromagerie is continuing to offer their facilities.
Marylebone will now be gated to ensure customer numbers can be controlled and that your staff and customers are fully protected. Entrance for customers will be in Moxon Street, stewards will control numbers entering.
Still keep thinking of new ways to keep your staff away from customers as much as possible
We are asking customers to come alone, your staff can do the same to reduce the number of visitors in the market
Our first priority is to ensure that we maintain social distancing, keeping you and your customers safe.
Dear Farmers and Producers,
We hope you had a reasonable weekend in what is currently a challenging trading environment. The government this week made it clear that it wants food retailers and food markets to keep going through the crisis and to continue to offer the essential service that they provide so thank you for making such a great effort to continue attending the markets at this difficult time. We realise that in coming weeks you may need to take time out to self isolate or due to staff sickness but rest assured we will aim to keep the markets going whilst you are away. If you do need to take a break from your regular schedule please consider trying to offer a reduced service where you can even to just make guest appearances, we can let customers know that you are coming. We are doing more at markets to protect you and your staff and your customers, this has mostly been achieved by limiting customer numbers on site, reviewing stall layouts and spreading out queues. You are an essential service, do not let anyone tell you differently and working on the frontline like other workers during this crisis should be applauded too. If you have any queries or concerns please give us a call during the week or if you require additional markets drop us a line.
Our social distancing measures were stepped up a notch at the weekend and worked without a hitch:
At Pimlico and West Hampstead the sites were fenced and customers queued patiently, we limited customer numbers to around 50 at one time, the police and council officials inspected the sites and gave them a thumbs up. Notting Hill was also gated with a changed stall layout which gave a massive amount of space to customers. We managed to purchase the fencing just before everything shut.
Over 20 stewards were recruited across all markets to help manage the queues and to get them to spread out.
On all gated sites customer capacity was limited to comfortable numbers to protect everyone and adhere to the governments social distancing measures.
We have had 100’s of positive comments from customers about the measures we have taken and that the markets are staying open for them at this time of need.
Chalk boxes were drawn on the ground to help customers to queue correctly.
The Police visited Blackheath Farmers Market, but only to buy some eggs, so nothing to see here, except the acres of social distancing on offer. We may need to move a few stalls around to ensure police vans that park there can exit safely now that we are using a lot more of the car park.
We will update you with any changes before next weekend. We may need to change market stall layouts to increase social distancing at some markets. We ask you not set up until the manager arrives, please follow these requests or you may need to move your stalls when they do.
Please keep looking at new innovations for keeping your distance from customers, this weekend we saw card readers on phone sticks and rope across the front of stalls and extra tables out front as measures to keep distance from your customers.
Thanks You for keeping London customers supplied over the last few weeks, see you next week.
All at London Farmers Markets
27/03/2020. All our markets will be open this weekend.
There will be further changes to how markets operate this weekend. Please plan how you can manage your stall to improve social distancing.
All sales of hot food and drink will cease immediately (more info below)
REMEMBER DEDICATED FARMER PRODUCER LINE IS 020 7833 5007 MON- FRI 9-5
( Only call for emergencies and to report attendance or to request more markets. Information about whether markets are open will be left here or emailed to you directly so please don't phone for updates )
You can find the governments list of permitted businesses HERE which includes food markets
We will all need to do more this week to ensure that we comply with the 2 metre distancing rules.
KEEP YOUR STAFF AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC- tie string across the front of your gazebo to stop them leaning in too far
PRE BAG / BUNCH AND WRAP MORE PRODUCTS TO SPEED UP SERVICE
SELLING HOT FOOD AND HOT DRINKS HAS BEEN STOPPED UNTIL 11th APRIL AS THIS CREATES QUEUES -THIS MAY MEAN THAT YOU CANNOT ATTEND- ALL FOOD MUST BE TAKEN HOME TO EAT. DRINKS INCLUDING JUICE AND ALCOHOL MUST NOT BE SOLD OPEN.
HELP OUR MANAGERS AND STEWARDS BY TELLING YOUR CUSTOMERS AND QUEUES TO SPREAD OUT BE FIRM BUT POLITE- 2 M IS THE REQUIRED SPACE
NOTTING HILL, WEST HAMPSTEAD and PIMLICO MARKETS WILL BE GATED WITH BARRIERS TO CONTROL QUEUEING AND CUSTOMER NUMBERS
WHERE POSSIBLE WE WILL OPEN MARKETS HALF AN HOUR EARLY AND TRY TO PRIORITISE OLDER PEOPLE IN THAT TIME.
THERE WILL BE LAYOUT CHANGES THIS WEEK AS WE TRY AND CREATE SPACE FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING SO ARRIVE A LITTLE EARLY IF YOU CAN AND BE PREPARED TO BE OUT OF YOUR USUAL PLACE ON THE MARKET.
THERE WILL BE FAR LESS OPPORTUNITY TO USE THE TOILET AT MOST MARKETS NOW THAT CAFES AND OTHER BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED. AT PARLIAMENT HILL THE TOILET IN THE SCHOOL WILL BE OPEN TO US.
IF YOU ARE SELLING PLANTS AND FLOWERS PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER GROWING HERBS AND VEGETABLE PLANTS THIS SEASON IN CASE RESTRICTIONS ARE TIGHTENED FURTHER
20/03/2020 PREVIOUS UPDATE
We have been emailing and phoning you for your thoughts ( hopefully all of you by next week) about the current issues impact the markets and your business. From this weekend, in addition to the measures we have already asked you to put in place, we require that you implement the following:
Social distancing - keep as much distance between yourself, neighbouring stalls, friends and the public. Work behind a table if you do not already KEEP YOU AND YOUR STAFF HEALTHY
Stall displays - reduce the amount on display and serve from stock at the back of your stall.
Hot food - wrap hot food for taking away and consuming off site. We will not be setting out seating at markets to discourage people from lingering on site.
Samples - do not leave samples out for customers to pick up. If you offer them you must keep them at the back of your stall and hand them individually to customers.
We would also encourage you to follow the lead of some stalls last weekend who were trying gently to dissuade customers from buying too much. Reassure them that we will be here next week.
Where possible this weekend we will open markets half an hour earlier and prioritise older people in that time. Where we can we will spread stalls out a little so your stall position may change.
If you require more sales outlets in coming weeks please get in touch, we will have temporary spaces to cover through staff sickness or production and we may open up some additional loctions if there is demand.
THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY WHEN WE HAVE NEWS
Keep up to date with news of our markets here and follow @Londonfarmers on Instagram and Twitter and the markets' pages on Facebook.
Very best wishes from all of us at LFM.
A reminder from last week:
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING HYGIENE ON ALL STALLS
It’s the season! Cherries are back at our farmers markets.
It's plastic free July as if you didn't know!
We deserve a sunny weekend barbecue.
Market hours are returning to their regular times from this weekend
It's official, we're open every Friday and we can't wait to see you all.