It may be the largest fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK that is used by the top restaurants in the capital but London’s New Covent Garden has been beaten to a top industry award by stallholders in Bradford.
The West Yorkshire city’s St James’s Market has taken the title of Best Wholesale Market in the country at this year’s Great British Markets Awards, pipping their London rivals who won the award last year, as well as other major wholesale markets in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Johnathan Kershaw, secretary of the market’s tenants’ association, said: “It is great news to have been awarded Wholesale Market of the Year 2015 and to have wrestled back this accolade from our great and respected rivals at New Covent Garden.”
The Bradford Council-run market has 35 traders who each week supply fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, exotic produce and pre-packed produce to more than 3,500 shops, restaurants and hotels across the Bradford district and further afield.
Educational programmes about where food comes from are run from the market for children, jobseekers are offered community work placements there and a scheme is being devised to donate unsold fruit and vegetables to community groups in the city and help alleviate food poverty.
The market also has strong ‘green’ credentials, with 80 per cent of all waste generated from the site recycled, while solar panels are used to generate its own electricity.
St James’s Market has now won the National Association of British Market Authorities award three times in the last five years.