WATCH out for a trickle of little things helping to make everything a little bigger and brighter for Taunton’s Farmers’ Market.

This year, 2018, Taunton’s Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 19th birthday and Graeme Wallace who owns and runs Wallace’s Farm which is based at Hill Farm, Hemyock, Cullompton in Devon is its’ Chairman.

Graeme is one of the founding fathers of the farmers market and is looking to make 2018 one of its finest and best.

He said for the New Year, the market needs to up its game and the farmers’ market committee of which he is a member needs to do a number of initiatives.

Graeme said: “I have been doing the farmers’ market for 19 years and it is a constant challenge.

“I think what we need to do is win more new customers while looking after our regular customers.

“As traders what we need to do is to make people happy at Christmas so they tell their friends and their friends tell their friends and they will come to the market.

“The most powerful thing we have in our favour is word of mouth. I cannot overstate how important this (word of mouth) is to us.

“We have a budget for marketing and need to use it wisely.

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“We cannot sit back and do nothing and if we did then the market would fade away.

“We need to do small things to make a big difference such as educating people this is a farmers’ market and we are more than street traders.

“We need to tell people our stories and to let them know the people who sell the food also make it and grow it themselves.

“If I had to make one New Year’s Resolution on a personal basis it would to tell everyone my backstory about being a farmer and making all the pies and sausage rolls I sell.”

Graeme said this year they needed to be pro-active.

There needed to be lots of different initiatives like holding a Farmers’ Market in Taunton on a Saturday to open it up to a whole new range of people.

He also though it might be possible to work with Taunton Deane Borough Council around parking and other issues.

He said he was a guilty as anyone for not doing more and felt the traders need to do more in telling people about the products they sell and how they make them and where they grow them.

Graeme added: “We are perceived as a very good market but we need to keep fighting the perception it is expensive.

“I think in the past some Farmers’ Markets have been to exclusive and pricey but I would say what we produce is quality and is of a comparison to the shops..

“What we should show people is the quality of the goods sold in the market so they want to come here every week to by items like vegetables or meat.

“We have to make sure we maintain our standards.

“We have strong standards and for us it is all about the customer getting what they want and seeing a great range of foods.

“What we all want to make sure is the integrity of the products.

“For myself they ask do I cook and make the pies etc and the answer is yes.

“When I tell them they seem surprised.

“We like to talk to our customers and people know me and they know Ray (Ray’s Veg who has he stall next to Graeme).

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“They know for example Ray grows his own veg, picks it and sells it himself.

“They love seeing this connection and meeting the person who does the work.”