The Farmers Market should be more diverse

Passed: May 2019 (13th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

The organisers of the Farmers Market are very selective about who they invite onto campus. This means there are lots of small, local business owners (who are often BAME) with something different to offer students than the Farmers Market in its current state does. Given that the Farmers Market is endorsed and supported by LUU to provide a service for students and hasn't been reassessed in a long time, we think it's necessary that this happens. It's unacceptable that certain vendors are allowed to monopolise opportunities and decide what's best for students.

An example of this would be Afro-Carribean food vendors such as Dutch Pot - historically, they’ve been invited on to cater as part of Black History Month and for the UoL Staff Festival. Their food is highly praised by students and teaching staff alike - with many questioning why they are not part of the weekly farmers market. At the moment, the ultimate decision-making power lies outside of the Union and the way Farmers Market makes the decision to invite vendors on appears to be tokenistic, problematic, and feels like it comes from a place of disingenuous intent.

This idea proposes that LUU and its members reclaim decision making power over who’s invited on to campus as part of the Farmers Market to make it more diverse and effective (with an emphasis on BAME vendors who are aren’t represented with the exception of Black History Month). The union should also support vendors to overcome barriers that may present themselves (eg support with paperwork to make enable these vendors).

Expires: May 2022 (13th)

Submitted By: Fungai Karigambe & Serene Esuruoso

Officer: Union Affairs / International

Area of Work: Food & Drink

Updates

August 2020: It's unclear at present what sort of trading activity is going to be possible on campus with Covid restrictions - if the Farmer's Market continues to run we will keep working with the University to have more diverse traders invited.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

March 2020: Delice D'Ivoire have been regulars at the market since October, but this is still an ongoing piece of work.

December 2019: PET have produced a report that will be looked at by LUU Senior Leadership Team before they take up this discussion with the University. The aim is to create a clearer process for new stallholders wanting to attend the market, and set up lines of support.

October 2019: Additional stallholders in place for Black History Month, but making this a regular part of the market's line-up looks to be a slower, more difficult process than anticipated. Will be an ongoing piece of work for PET and LUU's Deputy Chief Exec (Operations).

May 2019: PET met with University Commercial Services to discuss - meeting was very positive and the next step is for the idea proposers to meet with the team and outline their ideas.

May 2019: New Policy