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Know Your Market Rights And Take Action Now!

category national | consumer issues | feature author Saturday October 22, 2005 13:52author by Kathy Sinnott Report this post to the editors

Administrative changes set to alter the right to hold farmer's markets

From 1st June 2006 any town, village or city suburb that has not formally claimed its right to hold markets may find that they are permanently prevented from ever doing so. There is a revival in the popularity of such markets which will likely be snuffed out if we don't act now. Katy Sinnott explains how you can preserve these rights for your locality - and it's easier than you might think.

EXTRACT: "So how do you know if your town has market rights? Almost every village does. To be sure, look at village place names. Is there a Fish Market Street or Market Square? Try to remember if you went to a market or fair in your town, or of being told of one by your parents or grandparents. If you dont remember maybe someone else will. Ask. Look in town records. Check with the local history buff. If there ever was a market or fayre they your village may have market rights. You dont have to locate where the market was held or hold future markets where they were held in the past. It doesnt matter. If the right is there it is there for the whole town as in Skibbereen. And dont think if you live in the city market rights dont apply to your area. It might be hard when trying to cross a road in busy Douglas to remember that it was once a small village district from Cork, but it was and most probably has market rights.

Dont delay or you will find that the old rights have expired. The deadline is looming to find out if you can do this. To lay claim to the rights, the village must hold a market before June 1st 2006. It is a short time and it might sound daunting but doesnt have to be. A table with a basket of turnips and carrots will do. There must be a public announcement of the event. A hand written notice in a shop window or a couple of lines in the parish newsletter will do. If the market is held at least once a year for ten years your market rights are secure."
ARTICLE IN FULL

If you ever crave elderberry preserves, red currant jelly with a hint of sloe, blackberry and rosehip jam or rhubarb apple butter you should locate a real farmers market.

I imagine some of you still have fond memories of the Farmers Market. Maybe you arrived early to get the pick of the fresh vegetables and newly laid duck eggs. You probably had your favourite stalls but it was important to take a look around the tables and compare the offerings.

The buying done, your shopping bag filled and tucked under a chair, a spread of warm scones, fresh butter, some of that homemade jam and of course a pot of tea before you, you could settle for a chat. It wouldnt be long before you were joined by friends and the talk could begin. The chat was casual but vital to women who were separated by fields and hedgerows the rest of the week. After church on Sunday there was an opportunity to greet one another and share news but with listening ears, especially little ones, it was not the time to discuss that news and certainly not the time for airing more personal hopes and disappointments. To get down to the real business of conversation there was nothing like the country market.

Thankfully, the markets arent all gone. I have been to the farmers markets of Carrigaline and Ballincollig, on a Friday morning and Midleton and the Coal Quay [Cork City] on a Saturday. They are certainly alive and well. But considering that there were markets in virtually every village in Ireland, the existing ones are a rarity. Long may they last.

And they can last, and we can even resurrect some of the extinct markets if we act quickly. Ten years ago, the 1995 Casual Trading Act became law. It was designed to provide needed regulation of full-time street traders. However, the new administrative measures like licenses and permits it introduced have had a discouraging effect on the home baker, local artist, the farmer and the gardener who want to sell their wares at a local farmers market. The recent legislation also put fund-raising fairs and charity bazaars in limbo land.

Two court cases later, our right to sell our home-grown cabbages and homemade jams, soaps and candles for profit or charity through country markets has been confirmed as a right that has constitutional protection. Any village that has had a market in the past may be entitled to market rights. These rights may have to be regulated, as in the past, by the Health Act of 1878 not the Casual Trading Act of 1995. The Health Act is more appropriate and encouraging to local farmers markets.

So how do you know if your town has market rights? Almost every village does. To be sure, look at village place names. Is there a Fish Market Street or Market Square? Try to remember if you went to a market or fair in your town, or of being told of one by your parents or grandparents. If you dont remember maybe someone else will. Ask. Look in town records. Check with the local history buff. If there ever was a market or fayre they your village may have market rights. You dont have to locate where the market was held or hold future markets where they were held in the past. It doesnt matter. If the right is there it is there for the whole town as in Skibbereen. And dont think if you live in the city market rights dont apply to your area. It might be hard when trying to cross a road in busy Douglas to remember that it was once a small village district from Cork, but it was and most probably has market rights.

Dont delay or you will find that the old rights have expired. The deadline is looming to find out if you can do this.

To lay claim to the rights, the village must hold a market before June 1st 2006. It is a short time and it might sound daunting but doesnt have to be. A table with a basket of turnips and carrots will do. There must be a public announcement of the event. A hand written notice in a shop window or a couple of lines in the parish newsletter will do. If the market is held at least once a year for ten years your market rights are secure.

We live increasingly regulated lives. Retaining your local market rights is about keeping your local and personal options open. If our locality some day wants to be able to have an amateur fair, bazaar, fete or country market whether for profit, charity or fun at lest one person in each community needs to act right now. The situation is fluid but come June 1st, it may be set in stone.

author by MCpublication date Thu Oct 20, 2005 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two interesting links

http://www.irelandmarkets.com/

http://www.irishfarmersmarkets.ie/pages/reports.html

You can find out the nearest one to you or where to apply to if you want to set up a stall.

author by rtm!publication date Sat Oct 22, 2005 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

reclaim your markets!
They are the hub of your cities, thence will you build your cumanns, because you're passionate about politics and you won't be dying yet from the cholesterol yogurt mix thing, and will be ready for 2016. But long before that, we must fight a scourge and blight upon the yesterday's youth of prosperous crossroads and motel nights. & they're the ones who will forbid you selling strawberries.
They will nullify your assets in bric-a-brac. They will confiscate your copies of CDs, DVDs, and assorted frangrances. & they have a name. They have letters and slogans. They have accents. They have red blotchy noses. They begin with F.
& they end with F.

author by paulpublication date Sat Oct 22, 2005 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

could you give more details about this, ie why the change is happening and what law will do so?

author by Terrypublication date Wed Oct 26, 2005 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I recall back in the early 90s that there was a huge increase in the number of home-made produce being sold throughout the country. Apparently it was so successful that the big food companies got worried since it was eating into their market share, so apparently they got their lobbyists in Brussels working hard and that's why a lot of EU legalisation surrounding food and hygene was brought in.

It's sole purpose was to destroy this threat and this current bill to ban markets is designed to permanently kill off any potential threat for alternative ways of getting/buying our food other than through the big supermarkets.

Thus with EU regulations we have the crazy situation where the rules applying to some firm that produces millions of (say) eggs per day is also applied to the lone farmer / household in the country that decides to sell a dozen or two along the roadside.

Apparently there was uproar in France too, where traditional cheese makers and others curing meats etc, who had been doing this for centuries often in the exact same places, were suddenly told they were un-hygenic and illegal.

To some degree the Slow-Food movement is a fightback of all this (www.slowfood.com) and is all about celebrating diversity and local produces and techniques etc

A similar thing has happened with all those vitamins and stuff. Apparently the big corporate pharma wanted to get in on the act, so they joined a EU wide association of vitamin producers or something -most of them were small time and small scale and then big Pharma used their very own organisation to lobby Brussels (which worked) to set limits on the quantities of vitamins allowed. It was much lower. Also each ingredient apparently requires a license which requires a huge fee. This effectively shuts down all the smaller manufacturers.

There was an article in the Ecologist about this a year or two back. Here's a different article on it:

European Directive Against Vitamins & Minerals
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/vitamins2.php

The objective of killing markets in town also falls in with the policies of GM companies to patent our crops -yes those crops which are a resource to all of human kind. Instead just like the commons land was stolen a few hundred years ago, the same is being done with our crops. The October (2005) issue of the Ecologist (on pg 13) has a short news article about GM giant Syngenta who have filed 15 patents on the recently sequenced genome of rice -sequenced not by them but by the International Rice Sequencing Project. On that basis they have applied for further patents on most other major crops arguing since they gene sequences are so similar, that their initial patents cover them.

Folks these issues are all connected and this is a very important issue. In fact I would say crucial. Well done Kathy for writing it up. Thanks.

Related Link: http://www.slowfoodireland.com/
author by Quentin Garganpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 00:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great article, but one mistake. The market rights expire at the end of APRIL, not the end of MAY. More info on this is available on our site at www.ardnashee.com and there is soon to be a new site to co-ordinate activities at www.irishmarketrights.org

author by Mr Editpublication date Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps an indymedia editor could edit the date in the original article or add a reference at the end to the actual end of April date?
A lot of readers might not scroll fully down if they click on this one...

As regards the large supermarkets. See the link below to research in Britain by the New Economics Foundation on the 'death on the highstreet' and 'Ghost Town' effect of large superstores to the detriment of lower income and less mobile groups and society in general.

A small store will listen to a local consumer or group of consumers whereas the hypermarts will not. Suppliers are more likely to get a fairer deal with more numerous smaller outlets and employees a less precarious existence.

However the usual suspects talk of price and competition when in fact they're in favour of market failure to the benefit of the large retail corporations.

http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_1_i4_renewal.aspx
clone town britain

Economic systems that favour the large, remote and uniform threaten our local economies and communities, diversity and choice. Creating the right balance between local and global economies will help to increase individual well-being, reduce inequalities and promote environmental sustainability. nef is pushing to fight ghost town britain and relocalise the economy through the local works campaign and by empowering communities through enterprise and innovation. The tools for local economic renewal help people create their own futures. Our flagship inner city 100 project shows the power and dynamism of inner city business, and our work on access to finance addresses the problem of people being excluded from mainstream finance.

Related Link: http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/m1_1_i4_renewal.aspx
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