Markets are the heart and soul of our town centers; providing vibrant spaces for that long overdue catch-up, a place for hungry entrepreneurs to showcase their unique wears and access to delicious fresh food from around the globe! Always community-focused, our Great British Markets and altruistic traders have thrown their support behind some worthy causes and we think it’s about time we congratulated their efforts and shed some light on the initiatives your local markets have been assisting.
WORTHY VOUCHER SCHEME
Did you know over a million people do not have access to fresh food . Traders from Barnsley Market, Ridley Rd Market, North End Rd Market, Brixton Market, East Street Market and other locations in Liverpool have partnered with the Alexandra Rose charity to help fight food poverty and child obesity. Issuing £3 food vouchers per child and £6 vouchers per child under 3, the scheme has helped over 1200 at-risk families with over £300,000 worth of healthy fruit and veg. The scheme also drives trade into the markets energising those spaces while introducing young families to the benefits of shopping local!
TRAINING THE HOMELESS
Glugging 70 million cups of coffee a day, the UK is a nation of coffee addicts, but wouldn’t it be great to know that your caffeine hit went to a good cause? Why not grab your coffee from Change Please at Borough Market on your daily commute and show your appreciation to homeless men and women who have been retrained as baristas! Backed by the Big Issue, vendors are given 6 months training and are paid the national living wage serving a rotation of coffee brands including Intende JKT which is produced via the Tanzanian Army’s National Youth Program offering alternatives opportunities to young people who do not have the resources to access higher education.
RE-DISTRIBUTING FOOD WASTE
1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year, 250,000 tonnes of which is still edible — enough for 650million meals! Wholesalers New Covent Garden Market and food donation platform Plan Zheroes are spearheading a movement to make sure surplus food gets a new lease of life! Experiencing hunger as a refugee in World war II and now well in her 90s, Lottie co-founded Plan Zheroes which has since recovered 146 tonnes of food (the equivalent of 350,000 meals) saving 580 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The group collects excess food from markets (50 tonnes have been saved from Borough market alone!) and redistributes it to charities. They have also harnessed technology creating a platform whereby businesses can post their food donations alerting nearby charities of what’s on offer and their whereabouts. New Covent garden market is also in partnership with City Harvest who collects food otherwise destined for the organic waste bin to hostels, soup kitchens, and day centers. The scheme started in 2014 as two truckloads of food arrived in a crisis center in Bermondsey helping to feed 4000 people over Christmas.
ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTING TALENT
Markets have also invested in innovative schemes to help build relationships between local customers, market traders and independents. Founded in 2009 as the worlds’ first urban currency complimentary to the sterling, the Brixton Pound is a currency which can be withdrawn in Brixton market and spent in 250 local businesses, helping to keep trade within the area while also reducing people’s carbon footprint as they opt to shop the locals next door. Giving trendy food innovators a head start is an incubator or ‘InKERBator’ hosted by street food specialists KERB. The program nurtures raw talent with access to mentors and pitches for 3 months. Since 2017, 79% of entrepreneurs have graduated 29% of whom are currently occupying bricks and mortar or pop up spaces.
We’re proud of the contributions markets have made supporting their local causes and we want to show our support right back. We’re encouraging communities to fall back in love with their local independents by digitally connecting shoppers & Indies at the touch of a button. Show your support and get #downthemarket helping them continue to thrive and lend a hand to many worthwhile causes!