Online farmers’ market to launch as NeighbourFood comes to Belfast
An online farmers’ market is set to launch at Portview Trade Centre as NeighbourFood comes to Belfast.
NeighbourFood was established in Cork in 2018 and in just under three years has grown to 50 collection points in ROI and has also gained a foothold in the UK with 20 markets in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It is the brainchild of founders Jack Crotty and Martin Poucher, who designed it to give small producers a direct route to market via an online platform. It works just like a farmers’ market but instead of customers heading to their local market, they can shop with the same producers with a few clicks of a mouse.
Recently earning the prestigious accolade of “Outstanding Organisation” in the Irish Food Writer’s Guild 2021 awards for its support of Irish producers, Jack Crotty explained: “Our food producers set their own prices and get a fair price for every product sold. They keep 80% of sales for every product, compared to 15-50% through supermarkets.
“The remaining 20% is split equally between the market host and NeighbourFood. Our vision when we set up NeighbourFood was to enable even small communities to create a self-sustainable food network. We see this as a means to building strong local economies, providing a new and more profitable route to market for small scale farmers and producers. The dividends for communities and the environment are substantial in that it provides better quality, fresher food for customers while also reducing unnecessary food waste as you buy just what you need for the week.”
Each NeighbourFood has a local flavour which is what makes each market distinctly of its place. A local market host brings together small farmers’ and food producers to create a weekly online farmers’ market. It is a click and collect model with an accessible collection point where producers drop their customers’ weekly orders for collection.
NeighbourFood Newry was the first stepping-stone into Northern Ireland when it was launched by Elaine Quinn in January this year. Over the four months since the launch, it has grown steadily to a consistent 50 - 60 customers each week. And the NeighbourFood EastSide collection point at Portview Trade Centre is due to launch this month and there are plans afoot for new collection points across Northern Ireland. The reception from local producers has been positive, both from those already trading on the Newry market and those signed up to for the EastSide collection point at Portview Trade Centre, Newtownards Road in Belfast.
Just a few of the highly regarded local producers that will be trading at the NeighbourFood EastSide market include Mike’s Fancy Cheese, Castlescreen Farm, Bara Bakehouse, Sea Source. Hahu Organics, The Curious Farmer and Deli Muru.
NeighbourFood customers benefit from the convenience of planning their weekly shop at home, filling their fridge with the best of local food available in their area, ensuring that their weekly shopping spend is spent in their local community. The icing on the cake is the time saved with a collection that takes just minutes.
To shop at the first NeighbourFood market in Belfast, sign up at www.neighbourfood.co.uk/eastside and note that you can shop weekly or as often as suits your needs. Or visit It is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @neighbourfoodbelfast