Sustainable food systems are an important aspect of curbing the impacts of climate change and meeting targets of global food security. It is increasingly recognised that a wider suite of indicators is required to assess sustainability beyond the traditional environmental factors. This study focuses on Aberdeenshire, an atypical area of the UK where soils, climate and topography are not conducive to diverse or large-scale fruit and vegetable production, which in other areas, are a dominant feature of farmers’ markets. Nevertheless, Aberdeenshire needs economic diversification to offset some of the impacts of the decline in the oil and gas industry. Face-to-face questionnaires were conducted across Aberdeenshire farmers’ markets in summer 2022 to assess buyer and seller perceptions of the environmental, social and economic benefits of local food products. There was a positive attitude to local products with the majority of buyers perceiving the quality, nutrition, organic status and use of sustainable farming practices to be high. Conversely, the main products bought, baked goods and meat, are associated with negative impacts on the environment and/or human health. We discuss why, despite these shortfalls, farmers’ markets provide a valuable opportunity to distribute and promote high quality wares to support the local economy.