Lewes Local Community Interest Company (CIC) is a not-for-profit company with the broad aims of developing sustainable local food systems and making it easier for more people to buy good, healthy, seasonal food. Lewes Local CIC was established in June 2010, and the Lewes Food Market is its first project.
The Market grew from an idea initially developed by members of the Transition Town Lewes Food Group. The Food Group aims to work towards sustainable food production, supply and access in Lewes District. A market seemed a good way to further these aims, so Food Group members recruited more people to establish the market group, which worked with the support of others such as the Lewes Town Partnership and Lewes District Council to get a market up and running.
As a Community Interest Company, we run the Market as a business, employing a market manager, but use any profits to support food-related community initiatives.
The main aims of the Market are:
- To increase access to healthy seasonal food for all.
- To provide an outlet for professional producers and very small amateur sellers, new producers and surpluses from allotments. To support distribution methods which reduce carbon emissions.
- To reclaim and develop a sustainable, local food culture.
- To support distribution methods which reduce carbon emissions.
To do this, we have set criteria for stalls at the market, which we hope reflect our core principles. These include:
Primary Produce - priority will be given to "Primary Produce", e.g. vegetables and fruit, eggs, milk, meat, and fish.
Local Produce - Goods should be raised, grown, produced, processed or baked within approximately 30 miles of Lewes. Processed products, or products that have had value added, should contain a significant proportion of local produce. Lewes Local Produce Market aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport fuel. Priority will be given to the most local producer of any product without compromising quality.
Chemicals - growers will be expected to be looking for alternatives to chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Where ever possible.
Traceability - stallholders must display their name and postcode clearly on their stall and provide information about production practices and source locality.
Battery Farming - battery farmed eggs and animal products are excluded from sale.
Packaging - stallholders should encourage shoppers to use re-usable shopping bags, or to re-use carrier bags where practicable. All packaging should be kept to a minimum, reusing and recycling where possible.
If you are interested in the full list of stall-holder criteria, click here…
The Market aims to become a community resource, to provide a viable and economic outlet for local farmers and producers; to give shoppers local access to fresh products; to support local businesses and to provide a regular opportunity for community groups to contribute to the market. Once the produce market is established we have plans for other types of market, community events, food education and further outreach, as steps towards creating a more resilient, re-localised food system which is less energy-intensive and more human-scale.
Lewes Food Market is the result of a partnership between Transition Town Lewes,