§ Mr. Morley
The most recent assessment of farmers' markets in England and Wales was a business survey carried out by the NFU in July 2002. This reported that the 450 regular farmers' markets currently operating have an annual turnover of approximately £166.3 million with the average earnings of each stallholder being around £8,700. With average farm incomes for 2001 of £7,861, the economic benefits for local farmers participating in farmers' markets are clear.235W
The business survey did not specifically consider the impact of farmers' markets on retailers but it did report that 80 per cent, of locations had seen increases in trade for neighbouring businesses. This supports the findings of an earlier study carried out on behalf of the Countryside Agency in 2001 on farmers' markets in the South East. This reported that in the opinion of those market organisers and town centre managers that responded most considered that local shops had benefited.