9th April: Changes at NEEFM

Food and Drink NE take on management of NEEFM

From 1st May Rosie Jenkinson and Chris Jewitt of Food & Drink North East [FADNE] (see below) will take over managing this NEEFM website and the associated NEEFM social media (Facebook /NEEFMuk and Twitter @NEEFM_News) – and NEEFM will come under the umbrella of FADNE.

Nic Best

Nic Best who currently runs the website and social media will be taking a well-earned retirement. Nic has been involved with NEEFM since it started (in 2009 and involved with farmers markets since 1999), working first with the redoubtable Kate Potts and Alastair Davy, and for the past couple of years running things on a solo basis.

Nic says:
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the community of market operators, and I think that over the years NEEFM has made a real difference to farmers markets and local food markets across the region. But now, it is time for me to step down – and I am very happy that FADNE are stepping up to take over. They are a very good fit for NEEFM, with an excellent track record of support local food producers – and are doing excellent work supporting and advocating for local producers during the pandemic. I should also mention that both Rosie and Chris involved in the Jesmond Local Food Market, so know something about managing markets too.

I wish Rosie and Chris all the best, and enjoyment in continuing NEEFM’s work in promoting, supporting and developing farmers markets.

Chris Jewitt

Chris Jewitt is a born-and-bred Tynesider who started his life in the food and drink industry at age 17 washing pots in a restaurant’s kitchen. What started as a job he disliked, turned into a passion for food and drink which would later on see Chris open his own critically-acclaimed restaurant in Newcastle. This was followed by time spent as Sourcing Manager for leading Fairtrade organisation, Traidcraft and then as Food and Drink Specialist for the Department for International Trade, roles which have taken him all over the world.
In every position, Chris has had a determination to put the North East on the map as a global destination for acclaimed food and drink. This spurred him on to set up Food and Drink North East (FADNE) which officially launched in February 2020 of which he is Founder and Managing Director.

Rosie Jenkinson

Managing all the comms for FADNE is Rosie Jenkinson, an experienced copywriter and content strategist with specialism in food and drink communications. Rosie has written content for North East food and drink businesses for the last seven years, ranging from upcoming restaurants and luxury hotels to small-batch local producers and growers.

Both Chris and Rosie are involved at the ground level in working with the FADNE-managed Jesmond Food Market which takes place on Armstrong Bridge in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month and will be working together as contacts for the North East England Farmer’s Markets.

3rd April: Return of Saltburn Farmers Market

Amazing News:
“One week today we are able to hold a Farmers’ Market in Saltburn! It will be small, perfectly formed and very well run! We will be food and drink only with many of our regular producers bringing great food and drink to the heart of Saltburn.
“We will be asking everyone to wear a face covering if they can, use the hand sanitising stations around, be patient with each other and the traders and shop in small a group as possible, under six people or just two households mixing. As always there will be stewards on hand to answer queries and help us all shop
happily and safely.”
Saturday 10th April, 9am till 2pm pop it in your diary!

4th March: New Market at Blaydon RFC from Third Space Events

Announcing the new BLAYDON FOOD MARKET – initially for three months: March 20th, April 17th and May 15th
The latest event brought to you by the organisers of the Low Fell Food Market, Third Space Events, are hosting a new market WITH COVID SAFE MEASURES AND SOCIAL DISTANCING in the great setting of Blaydon Rugby Club.
We’re delighted to be hosting this market, bringing fabulous food to you from the best local independent traders. Supporting local venues and independent traders is what we do best, and we’ll have a wide range of top notch street food, baked goods, preserves, local meats and cheeses, artisan wines and spirits for you to enjoy!
Tickets are only £1 and children under 14yrs are free – parking is including in that price and there are toilet facilities onsite. *Note there is a £0.55 transaction fee per booking (not per ticket).
With the onset of COVID-19 we’ve had to make some changes to the market in line with Government restrictions and have been working with Gateshead Council to agree a format that is safe and enjoyable for everyone. Here’s a rundown of the main changes you’ll notice:
  • Reduced number of visitors allowed on site at any one time
  • Ticketed entry with staggered access times to minimise queuing
  • Food to be consumed a tables only (*Please note there will be no tables allowed in the case of the lockdown or tier3)
  • 2m queue markers at all stalls
  • Waiting bays at hot food stalls
  • Wide walkways with a one way system
Thank you so much for continuing to support local!

10th Dec: Saltburn Farmers Market blocked by local council

The organisers of Saltburn Farmers Market write:

“For 12 years the organisers of Saltburn Farmers’ Market have been consistently positive with every comment and post, in the press, in social media and on the radio. We have supported the announcement of every new business in town, we have been part of Town Charities, given to every tombola, raffle and fundraiser we possibly could and found space for groups and organisations that wanted to be part of the market. It is with a very heavy heart we break this policy and find we can longer keep smiling.

“Two days ago the organisers of Saltburn Farmers’ Market were asked not to go ahead with a market this Saturday. This morning today we were informed by Redcar and Cleveland Council if Saltburn Farmers Market planned to go ahead this Saturday legal action would be taken to force us to close. As the organisers we feel this is a disgrace. We have been open and communicative with the council and have had to drag information out of them.
“The last thing we would want is for customers or residents to come, given how awful this disease can be. However, we do feel facilitating outdoor shopping, buying local produce from local food producers, creating a safe outdoor environment where people can shop and enjoy themselves is possible.
We have gone to great length to do this ourselves and we have asked for support but have had none, so when RCBC announce they support local traders, work with the organisers and are grateful for the dedication of local businesses we feel they are insincere words. When they say the residents are their main concern, given the lack of management on the seafront, we do not see this.
We have run 4 markets since the first lockdown, know our footfall and customers well and, have a refreshingly compliant range of shoppers, supported by our very friendly stewards! We were purposefully the last local market to restart after the first lockdown and are the only market to have reduced trader numbers by half putting safety before income.
On the 4th of November we asked the council to facilitate relocation of the market from the town centre to a car park or a small section of the widest area on Marine Parade. We were told they could not help as the car parks would be kept open for visitors, even the council-owned car park opposite Saltburn Golf Club was refused.
“On the 10th Nov Sainsburys offered their car park, new risk assessments were written and having checked the proposed procedures the Environmental Health Team said  ‘It looks like you have covered all of the key issues / controls, good management is now the key issue’.
“On the 12th November the Council asked us not to go ahead with the market two days later, even well spaced and out of the way in a car park.
“On the 24th November we asked the council what contingencies they were working to if we should go into tier 2 or 3 so we could plan accordingly for December. To date we have not received a reply.
“So we are sorry for the late notice that we won’t be running a market this Saturday, we feel we are letting all our traders down and our customers down, who we know would have followed us to the furthest corner of any car park had it been possible.
“All that is left to say is Merry Christmas to One and All, keep safe, keep smiling and we hope to see you next year!”

27th Nov: Jesmond Food Market re-opens!

“After ongoing conversations with Newcastle CC and directors of public health, we are delighted to announce that we have been given the green light to reopen the Council-run Newcastle Markets and other markets “including Jesmond Food Market – amazing news for traders and loyal supporters”

So Jesmond Food Market will be held on 5th and 19th December – then be subject to a monthly review.

13th Nov: November Saltburn Farmers Market cancelled

“Following a steep rise in local cases of Covid, Redcar & Cleveland Council have reluctantly had to make the difficult decision to ask us to cancel the market this Saturday. The last thing we all want is for our customers to come to harm, or for residents to come to harm, given how awful this disease can be.
“We did ask the council to support safe, out door shopping by helping to steward the market and turn away any visitors from outside the area, but alas they could not offer this support. Having engaged with the council all week we are very disappointed at the lateness of their request and feel for all those producers who are ready to come to market in 2 days time and the impact it will have on them.
“Compelled to cancel we will continue planning for a December Market, when hopefully the situation locally will be different.
“Health is the most important thing and we are sorry we cannot bring you an outdoor shopping experience this month as we know how safe you felt. Thank you for your enormous support and encouragement and please continue to support traders through their online sales, shopping locally has never been so important.”
“Thank you for all your support. Words cannot express, well not ours at least!, how much it means. Here are the links to the our fantastic food producers that once again have been denied an opportunity to work in a safe and friendly manner. And yes we will be asking questions but that won’t help all any of these individuals – or the ones who do not even have an online presence.”
  • Amrik Rauth
  • T.Gleadow Fish Merchant.
  • The Little Korean
  • Wrefords’ Farm
  • Brickyard Bakery
  • Dani delights
  • The Gingerbread Mam
  • Daisy Distillery – Home of Craft Gins
  • TeesCider
  • Lip Lickers Doughnuts
  • The Clucking Pig Company
  • Laceys Cheese
  • Pie Jackers
  • Rosalind’s Larder
  • Tapas4you.uk
  • The Yorkshire Dales Cheese Company
  • Beehive Beauty Products
  • Cossack Cuisine
  • Evie’s Pupcakes
  • Garth Cottage Herbs
  • Nobia & Sons
  • The Sawley Kitchen
  • Scotties Pickled Again
  • Whole Lot of Rosie
  • Real meals delicatessen

3rd Nov: Markets should stay fully open

The markets and farmers markets community nationally is campaigning for markets to have parity with supermarkets as essential retail outlets and be allowed to – and supported to – remain open through the Second Lockdown

A Change.Org petition is available


Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods.

As England enters another period of lockdown, we demand that the Government give markets parity with supermarkets in terms of the supply of essential and non-essential goods during this period. Markets should be allowed to remain fully open.

Markets have demonstrated throughout 2020 that they are a safe and reliable source of goods for local and vulnerable people. They are a vital asset to the vibrancy and economy of local communities, and they should be allowed to remain fully open.

This petition is supported by the two main industry bodies for markets.

NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities)
NMTF (National Market Traders Federation)

11th Oct: Local Heroes North East Pop Up Shop

Following the temporary suspension of Jesmond Food Market on the advice of senior councillors from Newcastle CC, Local Heroes North East has launched a weekly Pop-Up Shop on Saturdays at The Beacon on Westgate Rd, Newcastle (NE4 9PQ) 10:00 – 16:00

Local Heroes NE Pop Up Shop celebrating, showcasing and selling some of the best #foodanddrink from across the #northeast.
The shop is also Saturday home to the brilliant Kennedy and Rhind serving you a selection of larder, bakery, savouries and patisserie.


Remember, you can still order for Local Heroes doorstep delivery until 12pm Mondays for a Friday delivery.

You can also click and collect from The Beacon, Fridays and Saturdays.

21st Sept: Middlesbrough Stewart Park market relocates to Wynyard Hall

After Middlesbrough Council disallowed Northern Dales Farmers Markets to hold their regular farmers market in Stewart Park this month, due to fears about Covid-19 security – the market operators have switched locations.

For September (27th) and possibly October, the “Middlesbrough Stewart Park” farmers market will be held in the Walled Garden at Wynyard Hall, north of the Tees – where Northern Dales Farmers Markets are already running a Covid-19 secure market on the third Sunday of the month.

They say:

“We’re unable to hold the market at Stewart Park so we’re calling on as many of you as possible to join us at Wynyard Hall Walled Gardens instead. There’ll be signs up from the roundabout entrance to Wynyard helping point the way. And please tell your friends it’s on. Even if you can’t get there yourself, helping us spread the word means an awful lot. Every SHARE is priceless. We’d love to think our amazingly supportive customers from Stewart Park will make the trip.
“And if you’ve never been before now’s the chance for a nosey. There’s stacks of free parking, acres of parkland for walks, it’s family friendly, there’s loads of space for social distancing. And we’ve heard that the lovely folk at the Hall are opening up the Walled Gardens so lots of opportunity to wander round and enjoy the incredible displays they’ve created. It really is worth a visit!
We’ll publish a list of stalls later this week.

“Even though this is an outdoor event there are still social distancing measures in place:
* Please keep at least 1m apart from other visitors
* Use the hand sanitiser when you enter the market
* Contactless card payments are offered by many stallholders”


20th Sept: Local Councils intervene over several markets

Reports coming in of several farmers markets being cancelled due intervention by local councils…


all Newcastle outdoor Markets have been suspended by Newcastle CC who have also “advised” cancellation of Jesmond Food Market,

Gateshead Council has cancelled the Low Fell Saltwell Park market

and Middlesbrough Council have cancelled the Middlesbrough Stewart Park market.

Meanwhile, current information is that, Darlington market on Darlington MBC land and Morpeth market run by Northumberland CC are still going ahead.