§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to promote farmers' markets. 
§ Margaret Beckett
[holding answer 15 October 2001]: We have actively encouraged the development of farmers' markets.
In 1999 the Ministry of Agriculture hosted a seminar which led to the creation of the National Association of Farmers' Markets (NAFM). The NAFM acts as the `umbrella' body for farmers' markets and plays a key role in protecting and advancing their interests at a national level. We awarded NAFM grant under the Agricultural Development Scheme towards its training, accreditation and marketing programmes. More recently we have provided funding to help NAFM re-launch farmers' markets in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak.
Farmers Markets may be eligible for funding under the Rural Enterprise Scheme which is part of the England Rural Development Programme.
Earlier this year we co-sponsored the Local Government Association Guide on Farmers' Markets. The Guide is intended to disseminate good practice for local authorities hosting farmers' markets and provides a range of information, help and advice.
The Countryside Agency, which we grant aid, is also supporting the development of farmers' markets.