Catchey's fruit and veg at Ipswich market shuts because of fears of Covid at London wholesalers
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
The largest stall on Ipswich market is closing for the rest of the current lockdown because of the danger to its staff and customers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mick Catchpole, who runs Catchey's Fruit and Veg stall on the market, has decided to furlough his staff and stop running his stall because of the dangers they were facing from collecting supplies at London wholesale markets.
Mr Catchpole said: "It (Covid) is everywhere down there - so many people are off with it or are self-isolating we feel it is very risky going there for our supplies.
"This is always a very quiet time of the year anyway and with the lockdown and everything else this year it's even quieter than normal. I've decided to close until things get easier. There's just no point in putting ourselves at risk."
He said there had also been problems with getting supplies of fruit and vegetables from Spain which is a major supplier at this time of the year. That country has been hit by snow and unusually cold temperatures.
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"The Spanish situation has really pushed prices up, but the main factor for us is the Covid in London. It's everywhere!" Mr Catchpole said.
He knew that some stalls were staying on - especially Young's Fish - but they did not have to face the same problems that he did in getting supplies.
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Mike Young, who runs the fish stall, said other market traders would be carrying on - some, like him, had also developed a delivery service in the area that was supplying customers who did not want to travel into the town centre during the lockdown.
He said: "We are still incredibly busy with people coming out just to get fish from our stall. But there's nowhere else in Ipswich where you can get all the things we sell so people do come out.
"And our delivery has just taken off and we're having to turn people away because we just don't have the slots available to deliver to them.
"Whatever happens we shall carry on because we can get the supplies - the weather forecast for Thursday is horrendous but we'll be there."