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North-East Now: Virtual farmers’ market can showcase producers from across the north

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A new north-east market is being launched online later this month to showcase some of the finest producers from across the north of Scotland.

Aberdeenshire Farmers’ Market Online is being developed by local food blogger Mhairi Millar and Stuart Richard, who is the manager of Angus Farmers’ Markets.

Mhairi, who has also been involved in other projects such as setting up the first Aberdeen Coffee Map for Visit Aberdeenshire, was due to organise and host a market at Kingswells Village Hall in Aberdeen later this year.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, however, Mhairi – alongside fellow organisers – was forced to postpone all markets for the foreseeable future.

Still eager to give Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire foodies their farmers’ market fix and ensure local producers are promoted as much as possible, she decided to shift the proceedings online.

Mhairi said: “The website itself will be live within the next month and will feature the same local producers booked for the first market at Kingswells Village Hall.

“This includes Hungry Squirrel Nut Butters, Unravel Tea, Caramel Cakeaway, Garage Bakery, Forbes Flower Farm, Meat Monsters, Esker Spirits, Orkney Craft Vinegars and Uig Candles.

“I’m also hoping to feature a lot more new and undiscovered businesses focused on producing food, drink, gifts, personal care and quirky products, so there’s something for everyone.

“The website is under construction, as well as our social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok – to promote the local produce with links to their websites.

“The website itself will also host a main market shop with a few products from each producer.”

She said the response from the public and local businesses has been “phenomenal” and that producers from as far as Orkney and the Isles have jumped on board.

Mhairi Millar

Mhairi reached out to North-East Now in a bid to spread awareness of the website, as one of the campaign’s main aims is to support local businesses battling through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The North-East Now campaign, driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, and backed by Hampton, Aberdeen Journals and VisitAberdeenshire, is shining a light on local businesses.

An online hub makes it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries including food, drink, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more.

“I reached out to North-East Now as it is a great new advertising hub that we have been missing in the area,” Mhairi said.

“We’ve had the global campaign Scotland Is Now – which aims to promote visiting, living, working, studying and investing in Scotland – but never something purely focused on the north-east.”

The North-East Now initiative will also share inspirational and positive stories, encouraging people to do what they can to support the local economies in the region.

Mhairi added: “I think local businesses will be very welcoming of North-East Now, especially at a time where they are rebuilding after Covid-19. All the exposure and promotion helps a lot.”

To find out more about North-East Now, visit northeastnow.scot

To keep up to date on news regarding the new online market, visit @aberdeenshirelocalmarket on Instagram.

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