Guernsey Press

Shoppers sad Friquet farmers’ market at risk

A fortnightly farmers’ market in Castel that has run for almost 20 years may have sold its last loaf of gache unless new organisers can be found.

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Mike Lihou serves Marion Dorey her Guernsey gache at the La Friquet farmers' market. (Picture by Karl Dorfner, 32958993)

Organisers said a plea issued last week had not produced any positive response. Shoppers at yesterday’s market said that they were disappointed to hear the news.

Many said that they had been coming for years and all agreed they would miss it if it closed.

Chris Greening said he would particularly miss the veg.

‘It’s so fresh compared to stuff in the supermarket,’ he said. ‘I’ve been coming for all these years, the meat is really top quality too.

Marion Dorey said she started coming to the market when it was held at Fairfield before it moved to Le Friquet in around 2011.

‘I would miss it if it had to stop,’ she said. ‘I always come for the veg and a Guernsey gache, everything is really fresh. It’s been running so long it’s become a Guernsey institution.’

The market, which raises money for the parish church, is held in the foyer of Le Friquet Garden Centre on two Saturdays a month, and offers a wide selection of local produce.

Mike Lihou, 72, is one of the main organisers. He has been involved with the market since it started in 2007 and took over organising it in 2011.

‘It’s not a huge commitment, but we are all pensioners now and really need some young blood to get involved to help with succession,’ he said.

‘We are all happy to be involved and to do some of the volunteering but we need someone to help with the organisation. If we can’t find anyone we will probably have our last market at the end of March.’

He explained that they needed people prepared to liaise with Le Friquet and suppliers, and help set up and take down the stalls.

Churchwarden Jan Roberts said the market was not closing due to a lack of business, purely a lack of organisers.

‘It isn’t just about raising funds for the church. We started for environmental reasons, and to use only local produce,’ she said. ‘We wanted to reduce food miles and do something to help the planet.

‘The products are all local – the veg comes from Terry Roberts in Torteval, meat and fish from Surf and Turf, bread and gache from Senners, and the cakes and pastries are homemade by a lady called Lisa, and we sell it on their behalf, with the profits going to the church and once a year another charity.’