THERE will be plenty of horsing around at a farmers' market next month as organisers urge shoppers to turn their back on processed food and support local producers.

Katrina Palmer will don a pantomime horse costume at Barnard Castle Farmers' Market on Saturday, March 2, to promote the quality of locally produced meat on other home-grown goods on the stalls.

Ms Palmer, a member of the market's management committee, said: “With all the hoo-hah about not knowing what's in processed food, we wanted to highlight that the whole purpose of the farmers' market is to sell direct from the farmer to the consumer.

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“You can have 100 per cent confidence in what is being sold on the stalls – and to be honest it is the same message we have been saying for years, ever since the famers' market has been going.”

She added: “You are talking to the person who has reared the animal and who knows its provenance.”

Barnard Castle Farmers' Market is held on the first Saturday of each month among the stallholders are producers of beef, lamb, pork, venison, game, veal and fish.

As well as Ms Palmer in pantomime horse costume, visitors to the market on Saturday, March 2, will also be treated to a cookery demonstrtaion by Real Foodworks.

During the coming months, a series of stallholder presentations will be given at each market and officials aim to further raise awareness by organising a series of roadshows, taking the market to smaller villages in Teesdale.

“We held one in Gainford last year and it was fantastic,” added Ms Palmer.