Kiki, FoodFutures Communications Coordinator, writes about this weekend’s Midsummer market.

Buying local food directly from local farms, bakeries, and other independent local food businesses is one of the best ways to support our resilient local food economy. We’re therefore very excited to take our quarterly markets—celebrating the seasons and local food and drink—to a Virtual Market Square.

This Saturday and Sunday we are running our usual Midsummer market on Facebook, posting information and links to various businesses and community food projects in the North Lancashire region. The aim: to continue our midsummer tradition and increase the number of people that are directly supporting these local food businesses and community projects.

The seasonal markets intentionally tie in with the solstice and equinoxes to celebrate the changing of the seasons and our connection to our local environment.

For the last three years FoodFutures and LESS have coordinated these quarterly seasonal markets; hosting a collection of market stall vendors that sell fresh products and prepared meals whilst running cooking demonstrations, showcasing community food initiatives, local artists and musicians. Covid-19 currently prevents us from doing this safely, and so we are starting to trial taking these events online.

However, we very much look forward to restarting this tradition in person in September within the bounds of public health requirements.

The need for more resilient food systems

Over the last few months we’ve all been thinking differently about where we get our food, who grows it and how we can make major lasting changes that increase our resilience. Covid-19 has exposed our food systems vulnerabilities. Supermarkets initially sold out of a variety of products – from loo rolls to pasta- yet some UK-grown and produced fresh goods were going to waste as the supply chain was not built to sell direct to consumers, but to restaurants etc.

Farmers markets, veg boxes and the sale of locally sourced produce through local shops, enables the distribution of produce from local farmers straight to consumers. This builds local relationships and awareness of what is in season and where our food comes from, whilst keeping money circulating in the local economy.

Strengthening our local food systems everywhere can lead to a reduction in our food system’s carbon emissions. It also reduces our dependence on long global supply chains whilst supporting Lancaster City Council’s Climate Emergency declaration: “Business as usual is clearly no longer an option. We need local wisdom to increase our resilience and to prepare for the climate changes already in the system.

Who is FoodFutures?

FoodFutures exists to make healthy, resilient and fair food a defining feature of Lancaster District. Supporting the upcoming Midsummer Market is one way in which you can support this work.

We are a cross-sector food partnership of anyone involved in the growing, eating, processing and selling of local food within Lancaster District. One of our core aims is to harness local passion and expertise for healthy, resilient and fair food in order to help it spread and grow so that more people, places and organisations within our District can access and experience the benefits that come from being part of a resilient food sector. 

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