Farmers markets across Aberdeenshire have been cancelled in an effort to protect the public.
Following consultation with Aberdeenshire Council, market managers decided they could not go ahead while abiding by new distancing rules – no matter the impact on producers.
Indoor and outdoor markets have been classed by the government as ‘non-essential’ – a classification that also applies to craft markets.
A letter to producers from the council reads: “I know how hard you all work to sustain, develop and promote our farmers’ markets in Aberdeenshire and I can assure you that this step has not been taken lightly.
“The situation will be kept under constant review and updates will be issued as and when they become available.”
Ron Reid, manager of Inverurie Farmers Market, said it would be a struggle for some producers and customers but that “these things are sent to try us”.
He said: “For some of the bigger producers they have other channels to sell their produce on but for others they rely on going round the market circuit.
“Supermarkets can encourage people to use card and enforce the two metre distance but the majority use cash at markets and can’t operate two metres from everyone.
“Face-to-face, personal trading is what markets are known for so that’s not possible for us.
“Customers who rely on our weekly sales will just have to turn to their supermarkets, which are also struggling, but we’ll definitely be back once this is over.”