Farmers' Market
Carlo Petrini Visits Beirut Earth Market

Founder and president of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini visits the Slow Food Earth Market in Hamra early November 2016 for the first time.

SOUK EL TAYEB

  • Souk El Tayeb
  • Location: Gefinor Center, Clemenceau and Downtown Beirut at Beirut Souks
  • Date and time: Every Wednesday at Genifor from 11 am to 4 pm and every Saturday from 9am to 2pm at Beirut Souks
  • Website
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Slow Food Beirut has started a new chapter in 2018. One of the greatest highlights of the year was our alliance with Souk el Tayeb. We have closed our market in Hamra and now we are part of the Souk el Tayeb farmers’ market network. We will have a stand beginning February at both markets. We are closely working together to create events, workshops and educational experiences to promote our common values and beliefs.

Created in 2004, Souk el Tayeb is the first farmers’ market to open in Lebanon and is now a forum to share food, traditions and hospitality in a way that has helped bring together fractured communities. Souk el Tayeb promotes unity around a common respect for food, land, and agricultural traditions. It aims to preserve food traditions and the culture of small farming in Lebanon protecting the interests of the small farmers and producers enabling them to compete with industrial and globalized food trade.

The farmers market was created as a private initiative by Kamal Mouzawak with the intent of creating a “souk” with the same vibrant energies of traditional “souks” but featuring the products of small farmers who bring to the market their knowledge – preserving centuries old Lebanese food traditions for future generations to enjoy.

The literal translation of Souk el Tayeb means “the good market” – both good in taste and character.

By connecting consumers and producers, Souk el Tayeb promotes the consumption of local food, thereby giving livelihoods to small-scale farmers and enhance food knowledge and culture throughout Lebanon.

Souk el Tayeb’s weekly farmers market hosts around a 100 small producers from all over Lebanon who offer fresh, local, seasonal food products and organic produce, ranging from fruits and vegetables, “mouneh”, dairy products, ready- to- eat food and sweets alongside traditional, handmade crafts.

Badaro Urban Farmers Market

Badaro Farmers Market is an initiative by The Badaro Urban Farmers, a gathering of individual volunteers promoting environmentally-friendly and community-building actions in Badaro that will result in a green neighborhood with a strong community spirit. We are a group of about 20 volunteers, all committed to build and expand the community. Most of us are living in the neighborhood or around. We are Lebanese, French, Dutch, British, Turkish, etc. and share a common vision about neighborhood-life.

The market is one of our initiatives and concentrates most of our efforts. The goal is to offer Badaro residents an option to buy directly from the producers while promoting a different type of agriculture and supporting small producers all over Lebanon. This direct contact allows producers to educate their customers on the growth and production processes. Visitors can thus support local producers and be sure of the origins of their food.

Diversity of locally-made products is the priority and market products include, depending on the season: fruits and vegetables, honey, zaatar mixes, mouneh, sugar-free jams, micro greens, fresh herbs and wildflowers, bread, beer and cider, essential oils, organic wines and soaps, recycled items such as glasses among other products. Quality of the products is controlled via a Market Charter which also covers the commitments and engagements of both market organizers and producers.

The market invites a local NGO each week to spread awareness about its activities and offers as well activities for the community: a kids' workshop is held every Sunday and we organize game tournaments, workshops, laughter yoga sessions among other activities when we can.

The Via Appia Farmers’ Market

  • The Via Appia Farmers’ Market
  • Location: next to the Crusader Castle in the ancient town of Byblos, across from the Wax Museum.
  • Date and time: Held every Saturday afternoon from 5pm until 10pm from March till December
  • Visit us on Instagram
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Eat like the locals – at the Via Appia farmers’ market. Held every Saturday afternoon from 5pm until 10pm and featuring regional produce and delicious snacks, the market brings together people with one thing in common, a love of good food.

The farmers’ market was set up by VIA APPIA BYBLOS, a non‐profit organisation that was established in 2008, to support local rural development. The market takes place in the small market square next to the Crusader Castle in the ancient town of Byblos, across from the Wax Museum. With a focus on traditional agricultural and craft products, there are aromatic herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, delicious juices, wines and jams as well as pottery and basketry for sale.

Involving around 30 local stall holders, farmers and producers, the market supports direct contact with consumers, helping to develop the concept and principles of fair trade. Additionally, the VIA APPIA BYBLOS association provides participants with the equipment required (tents, stalls and tables) and gives access to micro-credit adapted to their needs.

The NGO Via Appia Byblos is named after the Roman Road Via Appia Antica (2nd and 3rd centuries AD) that connected Rome to the port of Brindisi. The Roman Road was not just a thoroughfare, but mainly a tool for communication and exchange of cultural, religious and trade across the Roman Empire and an instrument of civil and military administration. The Via Appia resumes again on the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean at Byblos, where ancient traces are still visible. From Byblos, the Via Appia Orientale snakes through the nearby mountains, crossing the Bekaa Valley leading to Damascus.

The Local Action Group (GAL) Via Appia, founded in 2008 by former Byblos mayor Raphael Sfeir, is constituted by non-governmental associations representing local socio-economic interests, as well as businesses and local partners aiming to develop a common strategy and innovative activities for integrated development of the region of Byblos in domains related to the environment, food, traditional products, natural and cultural heritage ... Since its creation it has welcomed Italian chefs from Bari to share their indigenous plants and culinary traditions.

Via Appia Byblos also organizes annual cultural tours up the Roman Road to discover the ancient Roman sites and to enjoy the local produce along the way. It has a shop displaying products from the region, open all year round in Byblos on UNESCO Square.

SOUK AAL SOUK

Souk aal Souk is a mobile farmers’ market that aims at promoting healthy traditional food from local farmers and small producers originating from different Lebanese areas. It intends to build and strengthen linkages between urban residents and rural producers by offering urban dwellers access to healthy traditional food; and the small producers a channel to market their local produce. Like all of our projects, the impact that Souk aal Souk has on our small producers and customers is self-evident. From livelihood improvement, economic empowerment of small producers, to improved health status of consumers, our souk leaves a positive print on the lives of every involved individual.

The market was established in 2013 through collaboration between the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and The Food Heritage Foundation. Since its inception, training sessions on food safety and handling, organic farming, good agricultural practices and business organization were delivered to the market participants.

The Food Heritage Foundation stresses the importance of raising awareness among young students given that a monitoring study reporting on overweight and obesity trends in Lebanon in 1997 and 2009 exhibited a quick increase in body mass index (BMI) across sex and age groups, particularly 6–19 year olds. Hence, Souk aal Souk is organized on a monthly basis at AUB and on regular basis in LAU Beirut, Community School (ACS), Lycee Abdel Kader (LAK) and others. It has occasionally visited other academic institutions and was received in different cities around Beirut.

On average, 20 producers and farmers from across Lebanon regularly participate in Souk aal Souk, offering the consumers a wide choice of traditional food, pastries, manakish, sweets, mouneh products, fresh juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, locally grown plants and flowers, handcrafts etc.