Farm­ers’ mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

VICTORIAN Farm­ers’ Mar­kets As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kate Archdea­con says the or­gan­i­sa­tion is open to dis­cus­sions about ac­cred­it­ing sec­tions of lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets such as Beech­worth’s.

The Beech­worth mar­ket has long been run by the Angli­can par­ish and is staged on the first Satur­day of each month in grounds of Christ Church, but does not have VFMA ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

The pro­gram means peo­ple at an ac­cred­ited mar­ket can be con­fi­dent that they are buy­ing from the per­son who grew or pro­duced the food be­ing of­fered.

It is de­signed to en­sure qual­ity, in­tegrity and fair­ness for buy­ers and ad­vo­cates best prac­tice and cel­e­brates the work of gen­uine farm­ers, spe­cialty mak­ers and farm­ers’ mar­kets.

Ms Archdea­con, in the North East late last week for the first an­niver­sary of the ac­cred­ited Myrtle­ford farm­ers’ mar­ket, said there were some op­por­tu­ni­ties to pro­vide seg­men­ta­tion in an un­ac­cred­ited mar­ket with a view to achiev­ing full ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

In this way gen­uine pro­duc­ers could be dis­tin­guished from re-sell­ers.

She said farm­ers’ mar­kets could also pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for so­cial en­ter­prise.

“…As the as­so­ci­a­tion, (we) are try­ing to work out what some of the mech­a­nisms might be for get­ting the larger scale farm­ers to have some kind of rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the (Myrtle­ford) mar­ket – be­cause there’s so much op­por­tu­nity,” Ms Archdea­con said.

“I’m think­ing – ‘What is our model as an as­so­ci­a­tion for en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple or any­body re­ally who wants to sell to be in­volved with the farms and then bring prod­uct to mar­ket?” she said.

PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg

PRO­DUCE: Ron Hunter and Karen Dosser, who makes condi­ments for Pa­trizia Simone’s Myrtle­ford farm­ers’ mar­ket stall, talked with Beech­worth’s Joan Simms at the mar­ket’s first an­niver­sary on Satur­day.

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