Ridley Road Market

Why Food Markets Need to Stay Open to Help us Through this Crisis

By Ben Reynolds, Sustain

As the country faces both a health and economic crisis, we need to support small food businesses providing healthy food that reach places others can’t, writes Sustain’s Deputy Chief Executive, Ben Reynolds. It started, as many things seem to in this lockdown, with a couple of emails. I received the story of a market that was closing in Southwark. Then came another email about markets closing in Hackney. Then Liverpool, Gloucester, Oxford, Islington, Stockport, Cardiff. Up and down the country the story was the same. Whilst low turnout may in the weeks to come force many to shut, or traders decide it’s not worthwhile to turn up, these closures were mainly because of landowners not allowing markets to continue trading on the grounds of potential risks related to people gathering. This is an understandable reaction in the current crisis, and the landowners, many of which are local authorities, are right...

Reset button

Not Just Restart but Economic Reset

By Cylvia Hayes, 3E Strategies

So now that the spread of coronavirus is slowing a bit in China, the Chinese government is beginning to ramp back up its manufacturing facilities. However, given the shutdowns in the largest exports markets in Europe and U.S., the demand for Chinese products is still way down. Right now, while factories have slowed or shut down in China, Europe, the U.S. and other places, would be a perfect time to put a lot of people to work upgrading and improving energy efficiency and pollution control measures, and installing renewable energy options in the furloughed factories around the world. This should be a component in any economic stimulus package and it should be acted on right now while people desperately need jobs and the factories are in time out. In addition, though we are still in the acute crisis and that must be the primary focus of action just now, it...