Future retailers cook up a storm at Borough Market

Borough Market held its annual Young Marketeers day yesterday (04 Feb) as the iconic London market keeps up its sustainable credentials on food wastage while training a potential future generation of market retailers to effectively sell their wares.

The Young Marketeers scheme sees children from four schools in Southwark make and sell their own recipes for home-made winter soups using surplus vegetables along with bread they have baked. Already in its eighth year the Young Marketeers programme is supported by NatWest and led by Borough Market in conjunction with the School Food Matters organization.

Learning to bake and sell bread with Bread Ahead

Hatty Cary, Community Engagement Manager at Borough Market explained that with topics such as waste and climate change high on the agenda for young people “events like this are becoming increasingly important for the next generation of Londoners”. She added “By teaching young people where their food has come from, how to grow it and what to make with it while also giving them an awareness of food waste, we hope to inspire young people to take a more sustainable approach to their food in the future.”

Selling alongside the experienced traders already operating in the market gives the children an insight into what it takes to be a successful food retailer as well as alerting them to the issues of food wastage. Monies raised go to FareShare which distributes surplus food across the UK.
In preparation for the day the students attended two workshops; one at The Cookhouse in Borough Market, which taught the students how to make vegetable-based soups using seasonal produce and a second session with Bread Ahead Bakery, where they learnt how to make ciabatta loaves.

Feeding the people: local school children dish up winter warming soups yesterday

They sold their creations in the Green Market area of Borough Market which is given over to the Food Futures Market – which specifically aims to incubate the next generation of food retailers. These emerging businesses are joined each week by a guest trader from South Bank University’s London Agri-Food Innovation Clinic which also supports fledgling food retailers.

More generally the market and its traders have a very long-standing commitment to reducing waste whereby none of the market’s rubbish goes to landfill, all cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and wood are recycled and any food waste goes to an anaerobic digestion plant to be turned into power, fertiliser and water. It had already removed all plastic bottles In 2017 and most recently in 2019 became the first food market in the UK to replace plastic carrier bags with a fully biodegradable alternative.