Food historian Catherine Brown recounts the stirring tale of the rebirth of farmers’ markets in Scotland, all thanks to a Perthshire shepherd.
Prices have hit rock-bottom for beef and lamb. Farmers are in despair. It’s 1998 and BSE has shattered consumer trust while government advice is that they must ‘market their way’ out of the crisis. But how? They are not retailers.
Disheartened and angry, Jim Fairlie, a Perthshire sheep farmer, packs the camping gear and goes to France for a holiday with his family. He hopes to come back restored and relaxed. He returns instead with a ‘fire inside’ which has been lit by visits to local French markets. It’s a eureka moment: Scotland’s farmers must sell their own produce in their own markets.
May 20, 2014 0A NEW weekly market is to be opened in the refurbished historic Market Square at Midhurst.
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