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University to host farmers’ market

11 June 2009

Sport, Exercise and Health (SEH) and the student campaigning society, Bristol University Sustainability Team (BUST), have joined forces to organise a regular, monthly farmers’ market that will take place on the University precinct from 16 June.

In accordance with the University’s healthy lifestyle and sustainability agendas, the initiative aims to encourage staff and students to eat well by choosing fresh, seasonal food and to think about where their food comes from – shopping locally to support local businesses and minimise the environmental impact of their purchases.

The market is open to staff, students and members of the public and will host a range of traders selling everything from fruit and vegetables (Radford Mill Farm near Bath and Wrington Organics), meat (Cotswold Edge Farm), fish (Powells of Olveston), pies and pasties (Gayles Farm), jams (Snowdrop Cottage) and cakes and sweets (Jacqui’s Homemade Sweets). It is hoped that the number and type of trader will expand as the market becomes established.

The first market will takes place from 11am to 3pm on Tuesday 16 June outside SEH on Tyndall Avenue and every second Tuesday of the month thereafter (excluding August and January).

Professor David Clarke, the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for the University to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability. We would encourage as many people as possible to support the farmers’ markets, as buying local produce helps minimise the environmental and social impacts of the purchases we make.’

Karen Harvey, Healthy Lifestyles Manager, said: ‘We’re always looking at ways to promote positive health messages to staff and students and the University of Bristol farmers’ market is a great way of putting the “healthy university” concept into practice. This initiative is a great example of what can happen when different groups across the University work together towards a common goal. It is hoped that the markets will at the very least encourage people to leave their study and workplaces at lunchtime and have a proper break, even if just to wander around the market.’

Politics student Sophie Hewitt, incoming President of BUST, said: ‘This has been a long time in the planning and I’m delighted that the University has given its support to this popular initiative. It’s a great chance for students and staff to buy local produce and support sustainable food production.’

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