A farmers market provides fresh, regional, seasonal food, sold by farmers and makers direct to consumers at a central location.
The increased popularity of farmer’s markets is in line with the general trend towards supporting locally grown food, in particular organic foods.
Farmers’ markets have been a way of life in Europe for centuries, and in recent decades they have become popular in North America and Australia as consumers have discovered the enjoyment and health benefits in shopping for locally grown food.
The ideas underpinning a farmers’ market are that:
- It is restricted to the sale of food and beverages
- The goods sold are locally produced from within a defined regional boundary
- The people selling are those who grew, cooked, raised, or produced it
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Setting up a Farmers’ Market
A Farmers Market in your region could boost food and wine tourism and help build community sustainability through farming and production of food by local farmers for feeding local people and visitors to the region.
Each region has similar reasons for wanting a farmers’ market but there will be unique regional differences as a result of the size, cultural history, the climate, proximity to and size of regional urban areas and agricultural history of the region.
Why join a Farmers Market?
South Australia has an enviable reputation of quality, innovative markets, offering consumers the best of fresh local produce every week. For producers, joining your local market may help make the most of your region’s unique attributes, and build strong links with your consumers.
However, before you join, do your research.
- Establish a strong understanding of the underlying farmers’ market values of authentic, fresh, regional and seasonal
- Determine what differentiates your farmers’ market from others ie, name, climate, region, traditions, produce, location, people, site, history
- Build your brand to piggyback on regional and council marketing campaigns and boundaries
Benefits to local farmers and producers
Farmers’ markets help bring the people to the producer. There are many tangible and economic benefits of joining your local market – not to mention giving you the chance to establish direct links to your consumers, and building your brand reputation. Other benefits are:
- Delivering a weekly cash flow
- Presenting the person behind the product and selling the story of the product
- Opportunity to sell product not acceptable to retailers
- Maximizing profit by reducing transport costs, cutting out middle man
- Developing networks with chefs, restaurants, other retailers and food service
- Opportunity to trial and research new products and varieties
- Reward and encourage sustainable farming practices
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“How to” of Farmer’s Markets
For background information about farmers’ markets and how to make a start, visit Australian Farmers Market Association;
Willunga Farmers’ Market
The first in South Australia, the Willunga Farmers Market is a success story that has led to the development of Markets all across the State.
Adelaide Showground Farmer’s Market
The ASFM is a not-for-profit incorporated body administering the weekly Market selling food and food related products from farmers and producers of South Australia.
Adelaide Central Markets
With over 80 stalls, the Adelaide Central Markets is South Australia's most visited tourist attraction.