Country Markets Ltd is a membership-based co-operative social enterprise that enables individual members to sell their homemade, home-grown and hand-crafted produce directly to the general public through a network of around 400 weekly markets.
In 2011 I fulfilled a nine month contract as a Business Support Adviser for the Cooks of Country Markets project in Herefordshire. The project aimed to make homemade Country Markets produce available in local shops.
The role was funded by the Making Local Food Work project, a five year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund that aims to enable communities to ensure long-term access to local food.
My role was a varied one:
- to forge links and act as a liaison between home cooks who produced food for their local Country Market and local retailers who wanted to stock high quality, local food
- to train the home cooks on using the systems set up as part of the project
- to raise the profile of Country Markets and attract new customers and new producers
- to embed the Cooks of Country Markets project within the Country Markets organisation in Herefordshire
- to work in a way that would enable the project to continue effectively after the funding ended.
Jane Stammers, the Project Manager, said of my work, “[Catherine] was quick to understand the requirements of the role and establish herself in Herefordshire, offering outstanding support to producers and retailers alike. Her professionalism and attention to detail was exceptional, which was demonstrated in the high quality results which she achieved.”