A farmers' market in Oxford's lively Cowley Road area has become a co-operative. East Oxford Farmers' & Community Market comprises 25 resident, stallholder and volunteer members, who signed up at its AGM in May.
The market, which is run by a committe of 10 volunteers chaired by Rupert Griffin, has been selling fresh produce from within 30 miles and Fairtrade goods from further afield every Saturday for over six years.
Helen Hewlett, booking co-ordinator and administrator, said: "We became a co-operative as the market became that much more established. We wanted to move from an unincorporated association to a more formal structure, to limit liability, to assist in funding applications and relationships with other statutory bodies and to enable us to enter into any contracts which might be required, for example employing someone.
"Residents of East Oxford, committed stallholders and volunteers are eligible to become members. The market is very much part of the local community and the high proportion of resident members reflect the value that local people put upon the market."
The market's aims are to increase the availability of fresh, local, ecologically sound and healthy food, support local producers and the local economy, create a vibrant community resource and strengthen the links between producers and consumers. It was nominated by its customers for the BBC4 Food and Farming Awards 2011 Best Food Market Category and reached the final three.
Helen added that the team plan a high profile launch to customers and East Oxford Residents in mid October.