From field to fork

By Colin Adsley
8th May 2021

The benefits of buying food from independent local shops and farmers’ markets are many and various. You know where the food has come from, and can see the freshness for yourself before buying.


  • Good healthy produce builds good healthy families.
  • Producing/selling/buying local foods is good for the local economy and provides potential employment for local people.
  • The shorter the distance food travels from producer to consumer the lower the transport costs and lower the CO2 emissions.
  • A diverse range of sustainable farming activities is good for farmers and good for the health of the local countryside.
  • Many locally produced foods have a distinctive local/regional character. Cheeses, breads and cakes, beers, pies and sausages are just some of the more characterful foodstuffs sold in local shops and markets.
Robson butcher’s shop, Hexham Copyright Julian Jermaine

Food webs

CPRE has been making studies up and down the country of the local food supply and distribution chains based on towns of varying sizes. These ‘food webs’ are thriving in many places where local people appreciate the benefits of using them – to producers and consumers. Hexham is one of the towns studied and the findings of the study bear out all the advantages listed above.

Good advertising, a cooperative attitude by local traders and support from local authorities can do much to stimulate a healthy local food web. All of our county towns are well-served by them. Give them your support too and you will feel the benefits.

Hexham Farmers' Market Copyright Julian Jermaine