A COMMUNITY market offering East Oxford shoppers fresh food and produce has celebrated five years of trading.

East Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market has been held regularly since August 2006 and celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday.

To mark the day, the market launched a reusable bag which it produced with the help of O’Hanlon House, part of Oxford Homeless Pathways charity.

More than 300 shoppers visit the Cowley Road market every week, which sells food and craft made within 30 miles of the city.

Market founder Brian Levison said: “We started small and watched it grow it to what it is now, which is a constant source of satisfaction.”

The Saturday morning market is almost entirely volunteer run. It was originally held at The Asian Cultural Centre in Manzil Way before moving to East Oxford Primary School in Union Street in 2009.

Lord Mayor of Oxford Elise Benjamin said: “It allows local farmers and food producers an outlet but also it has become very much a community, social network.

“There is a cafe and a playground where people come for a weekly catch up.”

Trader Michele Jacobs, who sells jam, chutney and lavender products, said: “There are lots of farmers’ markets but there are not many in an area like Cowley Road. East Oxford has a special buzz to it.

“We get more and more visitors every week.

“It is important that people are able to access a facility where they can buy fresh local unadulterated food.”

Organiser Helen Hewlett said: “We are very committed to providing quality fresh food to the community of East Oxford.”

Oxford City Council’s east area parliament gave the market a £2,000 start-up grant in 2005.

The market runs every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. For information, visit eastoxfordmarket.org.uk