Local MP Steven Paterson dropped into Stirling Cycle Hub to sample local produce and collect his first order from Stirling’s thriving Food Assembly.

The online farmers’ market, which was launched in September by local charity Forth Environment Link, has proved hugely popular with almost 1000 local people now signed up to the scheme.

Every week Stirling Food Assembly attracts around 80 orders and generates an average of £1500 sales – with over 80% going directly to local producers, the initiative is helping boost the local economy.

Kate Sankey, Chair of Forth Environment Link, said: “The figures show that Stirling has a huge appetite for locally produced food, which has been grown or bred sustainably. Many products sell out within 24 hours of the online market opening, with locally grown vegetables being the most in demand items. We think the Food Assembly’s popularity is down to how it combines the convenience of ordering online with the satisfaction of meeting the people who make or grow your food when you collect your order. As word about the Assembly has spread, we are also attracting more and more local producers, who are looking for a simple way to get their products to market as well as a fair price for their goods.”

MP Steven Paterson visited Stirling Cycle Hub (the weekly order collection point for Stirling Food Assembly) on Thursday 22 December, where he met with local producers and customers:

“The Food Assembly’s model is an innovative way of promoting local produce within the modern arena of an online market. Local, sustainable produce will always be the popular choice for consumers – the challenge is making these products easily and readily available.

“I am grateful to the Stirling Food Assembly team for inviting me along to see their business in action and I would encourage everyone to support local Stirling producers and businesses by buying local products.”

Read more about Stirling Food Assembly in the Scotsman.