Peebles food market boosts local economy by nearly £40k

A click and collect farmer’s market in Peebles has injected £38,000 into the local economy since launching 10 months ago at the height of the pandemic.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 1:35 pm
Robin Tatler, of The Food Foundation in Peebles, serving a customer.

The Food Foundation, which hosts Peebles NeighbourFood, now wants to make the service more accessible to neighbouring towns and villages, with satellite collection points among the ideas being considered.

“When the pandemic hit last March we accelerated our plans to open Peebles NeighbourFood, giving local people access to local produce in a safe and accessible way,” said Robin Tatler of the foundation. “Since then we’ve grown to offer over 300 local products a week, supporting 14 local producers and suppliers and have over 600 members.

"With Covid-19 restrictions continuing, we’d now like to extend our service to other communities in the Scottish Borders.”

Thanks to revenue from the market, The Food Foundation was able to run a daily meals on wheels service to people shielding, isolated, house-bound or vulnerable due to the pandemic.

Robin explained: “Prior to Covid-19, our core activity at the Food Foundation was providing training and practical experience in catering for people with learning and other disabilities.

"Sadly all our training and work programmes came to a halt in March 2020 with the first lockdown. So, in response to the needs of the local community, we switched our focus to set up a ‘Meals on Wheels’ service with the local Community Assistance Hub, Peebles Resilient Community and volunteers from the Peebles Covid-19 Mutual Support Group.”

Together they prepared and delivered 11,000 meals between March and October.

The Food Foundation hopes to get its training programme back up and running as soon as it is safe, and grow Peebles NeighbourFood further by extending the number of local producers selling through the market.

Market coordinator Heather Wild said: “We want to extend our reach and increase the range and number of local producers selling through the platform.

"Our producers keep 80% of the sale price, a far higher percentage compared with supermarkets, so it’s a great way to sell.”

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