With lease negotiations still ongoing between traders at New Spitalfields Market and their landlord, the City of London Corporation, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alan Yarrow, toured the Leyton-based site this morning (12 May).
Backed by a delegation made up of key market and fresh produce figures, plus local dignitaries, Yarrow met with traders to get a feel of how the wholesale market - which operates at 100 per cent capacity - works, and to listen to wholesalers' concerns about the future.
The corporation has proposed an increase in rent that is roughly double what tenants are currently paying.
Speaking to FPJ about his visit to the market, Yarrow, who noted that he loved "how wonderfully ethically diverse New Spitalfields Market is", said: "This is the second time I've been here. I have a huge belief in face to face trade, and dictum meum pactum ('my word is my bond') is a critical part of trading.
"And the markets themselves are critical: be they finance, fruit, fish, vegetable, or flowers. But the debate is whether they should be based in the centre, or on the outskirts. The corporation is having its revenue cut, as everyone has to take their share, and it is trying to find the line of best fit."
Yarrow, who took office as the 687th Lord Mayor of the City of London in November 2014, joined Grieveson Grant, a stockbrokers, in 1972.
He remained in finance and banking for the rest of his career, leaving Dresdner Kleinwort (which had purchased Grieveson Grant) in December 2009 after 37 years with the group, latterly as group vice chairman and chairman of the UK bank.