Traders at Smithfield Meat Market, the oldest wholesale meat market in the UK, today unveil their first website in a move to attract more visitors to the market.
Located within the Square Mile of the City of London, Smithfield Market is housed within three listed buildings packed full of history. Over 140 years old, but on a site which has held markets for almost one thousand years, it is today a fully EU approved wholesale market. It has seen many changes and yet continues to shift and evolve, meeting the latest hygiene regulations and adapting to changes in food fashions with the same efficiency, good humour and elegance it has shown throughout the centuries.
The heritage, however, does not only come from the buildings but from the traders themselves. Aiming to protect the interests of its members, the Smithfield Market Tenants’ Association (SMTA), which developed the website, was originally set up in 1869 and as a group holds over 100 years of experience passing through up to five generations. Many are family run businesses and the traders have a working day like no other – starting at 2 in the morning and finishing at any time up until 10am.
Not only offering users the chance to swat up on the history of the market, the website is broken down into easy to navigate sections where visitors will be guided on how to, for example, buy meat at the market and more importantly, how to negotiate with the traders! Images of different animals will also be available in order for customers to identify the various cuts of meat before visiting the market. Opening times, how to get there and where to park will also be included.
Originally a meat only market, Smithfield now offers a variety of additional commodities. As well as being able to pick unusual cuts of meat such as flank and brisket, to Halal and Organic produce, Smithfield also offers anything from olives and cheeses to cured meats and frozen products. The website will offer a comprehensive search function to support the number of food products available from the individual traders. For example when searching for a particular cut of meat or cheese, the traders selling those particular products will appear informing the visitor exactly where they are located within the market.
Greg Lawrence, the Chairman of the SMTA says: “The traders of Smithfield Market hold a wealth of information and it’s great that visitors can now read up on some of this before they visit the market. As well as detailing the history, the website will also keep users up-to-date with the latest news and events happening in and around the market.”
For further information visit www.smithfieldmarket.com
MONDAY to FRIDAY from 2am (visitors and buyers should arrive by 7am to find full range of stalls open) Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.