THERE’S a change afoot in our shopping habits.
And traders in Brighouse embraced it – with a day dedicated to the best of local produce.
It comes as more people take an interest in where their produce comes from and are cracking down on the air miles their food travels.
Research shows that the number of farmers’ markets in the UK has tripled since 2001, according to the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (Farma).
There are an estimated 600 farmers markets in the UK every month, half of which are accredited by Farma.
Now Brighouse is getting in on the act – on Saturday the town doubled up as a giant market, with traders operating side by side with the town’s shops.
Lesley Adams, chairman of the Brighouse Business Initiative (BBI), said: “It may be a small movement but people are starting to want to know where their food comes from, who made it and how local it is.
“The same can be said for crafts, furniture and any number of special things we buy.
“We are starting to realise that these things matter – to our environment, our health, our communities and our towns – big issues that can be affected in a small change in the way that we shop.”
And it can have a big impact on a town centre too – the Totally Locally campaign says that making an effort to spend £5 in local shops rather than supermarkets can mean a town thrives rather than faces an uncertain future and decline at the hands of the supermarkets.
Chris Sands, from the Totally Locally campaign, said: “In Calderdale, if every adult did this tiny thing it would result in an extra £40million per year going back into the local economy. Similar figures for Kirklees too.”
On Saturday the BBI welcomed traders from a 30-mile radius of Brighouse.
Farma guidelines say that a local market is defined as a 30-mile radius or 50 miles if in a city or remote area.
And the market attracted food and drink producers from as near as Hipperholme and as far away as South Yorkshire.
It brought together seasonal produce grown in those area, with shoppers buying and sampling the produce.
Lesley Adams, who runs Simply Flowers, said: “I am passionate about my town.
“Myself and the shop owners of Brighouse want to re-open people’s eyes to what great shops and businesses they have right here under their noses.”
“The more we use our local shops, the more the town thrives.”
More than 60 shops in Brighouse town centre backed the scheme, which brought in hundreds of extra shoppers on the day.