Farmers’ market opportunities
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.
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.