Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

From the farm to your plate: Frú Lauga's Farmers Market

By Sara McMahon

  • Frú Lauga's Farmers Market sells fresh farm products. The store is owned by husband and wife Arnar Bjarnason and Rakel Halldórsdóttir. Photo/Valgarður Gíslason

The Beint frá býli organization supports direct farmer-to-consumer marketing, which has become increasingly popular in Iceland over the past few years. Consumers view direct marketing as a way of gaining access to fresh, high- quality foods while minimizing their ecological footprint, and farmers see it as an alternative market outlet to increase their income.

 

Frú Lauga’s Farmers Market in Laugarlækur, Reykjavík, was founded in 2009 by husband and wife, Arnar Bjarnason and Rakel Halldórsdóttir. The beautiful, little shop carries local produce, meat, and dairy products as well as selected products from abroad, including olive oil, chocolate, and Italian pasta. In late 2012, the couple opened their second store in Óðinsgata, in down-town Reykjavík. 

Why did you decide to open a farmers market in Reykjavík?

“We studied abroad for some years, both in Italy and in the United States, where direct farmer-to-consumer marketing has been thriving for a very long time. We moved back home to Iceland in 2002 and missed not being able to access fresh farm products, and that’s when the idea arose. However, at the time we felt that there wasn’t a market for shops like Frú Lauga in Iceland. But that changed in the wake of the economic crash in 2008, as interest in locally produced goods increased.

Rakel Halldórsdóttir Photo/Stefán Karlsson

“When we first started out, Arnar and I travelled around Iceland and introduced ourselves and the concept to farmers. Our aim has always been to do business with farmers who produce organic products and care for their animals.”

Are Icelanders more conscious now as to where their food comes from than, say, five years ago?

“Yes, I think people are more aware of the ‘“slow food’” ideology now than before. What’s more, traditional production methods are being revived and appreciated. I feel that for a very long time Icelanders focused solely on progress and technology but are now embracing both the new and old.
“It’s not only food, though. Icelandic consumers have also become more environmentally conscious.”

Frú Lauga’s Farmers Market is located at Óðinsgata 1, in the center of Reykjavik, and Laugalækur 6 in Laugardalur, and is open from 11 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. 

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