Celebrating London Markets

This week will mark the launch of the first ever London Markets' Month, celebrating the important role that the city's six wholesale markets play in the food industry.

Borough, Billingsgate, New Covent Garden, Smithfield, New Spitalfields and Western International have united to raise the profile of London's markets, which are "vital to London's economic and social health."

London Markets' Month will take place throughout October. A number of series and events will be held at, or associated with the markets, culminating in the London Markets' Symposium at City Hall on Thursday 23 October, where Rosie Boycott - the newly appointed Chair of London Food Board - will speak.

Boycott said: "The wholesale markets of London allow consumers to access locally produced, top quality food at affordable prices. Raising the profile of these markets and encouraging businesses across London to use them must continue so that the restaurants and shops where Londoners buy their food carry on offering us this fantastic variety.

"The London Food Board strongly supports the London Markets' month. The markets play a key role in the food industry of London and we are keen to work with them all, retail, farmers, wholesale and street markets to encourage more sustainable practices within the food system."

Covering a total of 135 acres and with the combined annual turnover of over £2 billion, wholesale markets play a vital role in the economies of the London Boroughs in which they operate and also in the wider food agenda.

The month will highlight the array of fresh produce - fruit, vegetables, fish and meat supplied to the hundreds of thousands of customers by the six wholesale markets in London. In addition it will focus on the social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits that these Markets and the many retail and street markets of London bring to the communities in which they are based.

To support the markets and as part of the month of activities, it is proposed that a group called the Association of London Markets will be re-launched at the Markets' symposium. This organisation will support all markets across the Capital giving them a clear vision and a coherent and consistent framework to work to.

A guide to the London Wholesale Markets has been produced as part of the month and contains a full list of events as well as information about the impact of Markets on London. Alongside the six wholesale market operators, the month is also supported by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NAMBA), World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) and London Farmers' Markets.