Lavenham Farmers Market was named `The best farmers market in the UK’ at the 2022 National Farm Retail Awards held in Newcastle last night. Outstanding farm retailers and markets were crowned winners in a national award ceremony held to celebrate the very best in the business.
Winners were selected in the prestigious awards organized by the Farm Retail Association (FRA) which was formed in 1979 to support the industry.
The Farm Retail Awards (sponsored by specialist retailer COOK) are the only awards judged by fellow farm retailers and celebrate the best farm shops, farm cafés and restaurants, farmers’ markets and trade suppliers in the country. Finalists had been shortlisted from all corners of the country including Barnard Castle, Stroud and Moseley Farmers Market as well as Suffolk favourite Lavenham Farmers Market
The FRA commented: “ Judges stated that Lavenham’s Farmers Market was one of togetherness and pride. They noted that the market offered a culture of working with each other, offering a strong and wide range of local foods which created an atmosphere their customers loved. The interaction the stall holders showed to their customers was inspiring and clearly everyone visiting on the day loved it.”
Justine Paul, founder of Suffolk Market Events, stated: Wow we are absolutely thrilled to have won this award. It means so much and makes all that hard work, in saving the market from closure back in 2008, so very worthwhile. It is also a recognition of the high quality of local artisan stalls we have at Lavenham Farmers Market which means that the local community as well as those who travel form further afield can be assured of buying good local product direct from the producer – which is at the heart of all our markets. To win against some of the largest farmers markets in the country like Stroud and Moseley is a huge achievement and we are committed to continuing to make Lavenham Farmers Market a real jewel in Suffolk’s foodie offering.’
Lavenham Farmers Market was down to just two or three stalls when Justine Paul stepped in to save something she clearly believed in and as a local Lavenham resident wanted to see thrive in her village. The market now hosts almost forty local artisan food and drink stalls and is held on the fourth Sunday of every month outside the Lavenham Village Hall.
On the back of successfully reviving Lavenham Farmers Market, Justine Paul went on to establish a business called Suffolk Market Events which now runs a number of very successful and award-winning markets throughout Suffolk including regular monthly farmers markets in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Lavenham and Sudbury as well as relaunching Colchester Farmers Market in December after a long pause due to Covid. Suffolk Market Events has also been commissioned by a number of local authorities to help revive street markets in Suffolk and Essex.