Borough Market’s annual Young Marketeer’s produce sale – with a difference – took place in ten primary schools in the local community this week. Due to social distancing rules, children were unable to come to the Market to sell their school-grown fruit and vegetables, as they have done for the last eight years.
Thanks to campaigning charity School Food Matters, in partnership with teachers and Borough Market’s traders, the enterprising team still found a way for the sale to go ahead. Market traders recorded a training video that schools showed to students to give them top tips on running a successful market stall – from food hygiene, to marketing, to customer service. School Food Matters then put together an online resource hub for schools to access.
The produce sales are taking place in multiple forms: on-line orders, delivery to specific classrooms, and parents able to ‘click and collect’ from the school gate, to avoid entering the playground.
Last year, children raised £576.75 at the Harvest Sale, with all proceeds donated to FareShare, an award-winning charity which seeks to relieve food poverty by rescuing good food that would otherwise go to waste. Every £1 raised will provide four meals for vulnerable families across the capital.
To date, the ‘Young Marketeers’ programme has seen more than 7,000 primary school children growing produce in 58 different schools, with close to 800 students coming to sell 45 different varieties of fruit and vegetables at London’s 1,000 year old market.
Kate Howell, Director of Development and Communications, Borough Market said: “We’re aware of how difficult it’s been for the schools to take part in the Young Marketeers’ Sale this year. At Borough Market, social distancing measures have meant that we’ve switched many of our events to digital so that we can continue to engage with our customers and the wider community. It’s fantastic that the children have still been able to enjoy growing their own fruit and veg in a sustainable way – we know that being aware of the seasons, planting and harvesting are important ways to connect young people with fresh food. We’re hoping our expert traders will also have inspired a host of future food-loving entrepreneurs!”
Stephanie Slater, CEO, School Food Matters said: “No pandemic can stop these enterprising young growers. Our Young Marketeers are a determined lot, and with their teachers came up with creative ways to get their homegrown veg to market. School veg plots have become even more precious during the Covid crisis, providing a safe outdoor space for children to learn about food and engage in meaningful activity that has a focus on the future. By nurturing their home grown veg, they nurture themselves.”
Schools taking part in the Young Marketeers’ Sale
John Ruskin Primary School (Southwark)
Trafalgar Infant School (Richmond)
St Francis Primary School (Southwark)
The Greenwich Steiner School (Greenwich)
Brunswick Park Primary School (Southwark)
Charlotte Sharman Primary School (Southwark)
London Fields Primary School (Hackney)
Marner Primary School (Tower Hamlets)
Colville Primary School (Notting Hill)
Manorfield Primary School (Tower Hamlets)