AN INITIATIVE aiming to reduce food waste one pickle at a time has launched weekly markets in Prudhoe.

The Pickle Palace, based at Greenside, makes pickles, chutneys and jams out of bruised fruit and vegetables that otherwise would likely have been thrown out and ended up at landfill sites.

Relying on donations from supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons and the Co-op, it also hosts markets in towns around its base where people can take the products and leave donations to help cover the organisation’s running costs, overheads and room hire.

The first location in the Tyne Valley to benefit from its services is Prudhoe, where a weekly market has been started up at the Tip Top Club, at Prudhoe Town Football Club.

On Thursdays, from 2pm to 2.30pm, staff and volunteers bring the goods to the market. Its other locations include Chopwell and Greenside, while it also runs education sessions at Chopwell Primary School.

Julie Brown, the Pickle Palace’s marketing manager, said: “It’s absolutely fab here. We have had 29 people through the door and we’re going to continue doing it every week. If we keep getting this many people through the door, that means we can keep it going.”

Local town councillor, Angie Scott, helped them to promote their presence through social media after hearing about what they do. She said: “I knew people in Prudhoe would benefit from the market and I think it’s so important we keep it here in Prudhoe.”

Julie explained that the group had been approached to take its service elsewhere in the Tyne Valley, including Haltwhistle, but it had not been possible because of the distance.

“But we’d encourage anyone to start doing the same elsewhere,” she said. “It makes you think if we can do it in this area it can be done anywhere.”

She explained that people might use the market for a variety of reasons, including for the environmental factors of not wanting to see good food go to waste.

And by only asking for donations for the supermarket items it also could provide a lifeline for some families on a tight budget. “Universal credit puts a lot of stress on people,” explained Julie. “And if we can get rid of some of that stress while stopping food waste that’s even better.”