The birth of a market
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 aimed 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 do this, we have set criteria for stalls at the market, which we hope reflect our core principles.
"There is no love sincerer than the love of food"
George Bernard Shaw
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 Friday Food 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, wherever 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, re-using and recycling where possible.
Our ultimate goal
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.
THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE MARKET TICK
Lucie’s background is in the fast paced world of advertising. Having worked for a number of London publishing agencies for many years she decided to start a small artisan cheese business in Brighton selling at local food markets as well as delivering cheese boxes to the door. Lucie joined Lewes Friday Food Market as manager in January 2017 and brings her extensive knowledge on marketing and her understanding of trading at a food market to her role. She is responsible for overseeing the successful day to day running of the market ensuring both stallholders and customers are in perfect harmony.
Jayne runs a speciality coffee and luxury leaf tea business and has been a stall holder at Lewes Friday Food Market since 2013. She has a food background in sales and event management. She brings her flair for marketing and her organisational skills to her role as director and she is an invaluable liaison between stall-holders and the board.
Gaynor has worked broadly in financial services for the last 27 years. She lives a short walk from the Lewes Friday Food Market and has been a regular supporter and shopper at the market since it began. Keen to help the market flourish she joined the board and now brings to it her expertise in marketing, relationship management, governance & compliance.
Daphne is a medicinal chef & nutritionist who has cooked, studied and written about food all her adult life. She is the founding member and educator within a food charity & brings her understanding of the nourishing benefits of local food together with diverse experiences in the world of food to her role as a contributor of recipes and food information content to Lewes Friday Food Market
Would you like to get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers to help us at Lewes Local CIC. If you have any free time and feel you'd be able to bring something great to the best market in Sussex....let us know.