On Wednesday November 14th Wendi Morri from the Avon Country Market Co-operative came to talk to us about this organisation and it’s history. The national Country Markets organisation has roots going back to 1919, when the Agricultural Organisation Society sponsored the setting up of co-operative markets to sell surplus produce. There are currently over three hundred and fifty Country Markets throughout England, Wales and the Channel Islands.

They were originally part of the W.I. but now operate independently. It is a membership-based co-operative social enterprise that enables individual members to sell their home-made, home-grown and hand-crafted produce direct to the general public (or through selected retailers) under the Country Markets label. The organisation as a whole has an annual turnover of around £10 million.  Approximately £9 million of this is returned to the members, whose produce is sold through the Markets.

Avon has nine Country Markets, and the one nearest to us locally is held in the Westbury-On-Trym Methodist Church hall every Friday morning from 10.30am to 11.30am.  Representatives of the Avon Country Market accompanied Wendy and set up their stalls in the hall so that we could sample their wares. We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were very grateful to Wendy and her friends for giving up their time and enabling us to part with our cash!