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Farmers’ Market Contributes To Global Eco-Strategy


Farmers’ Market Contributes To Global Eco-Strategy

One of the principles of the Marlborough Farmers’ Market is to think globally – act locally. ''Food Miles'' is a worldwide move to reduce travel distances between the food source and the consumer. Literally, this means comparing the energy expended to move food from the local market as opposed to shipping further a field. On both the consumer and producer level too, increased cartage and distributor are added, this is not so much the case with distributing direct, local to local.

Chris Fortune, chef and chairman for the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, which has run since 2000 each Sunday summer to autumn, confirms their commitment to this global principle. Chris is personally contributing by creating his own heirloom vegetables, herbs and fruit sold at the markets under the CK’s brand. As Chris says “the Market and it’s principles have given me a much broader and deeper appreciation of how produce gets to my kitchen, I understand that no longer can a chef hide in his kitchen, they must represent their philosophy and understanding. CK’s products and the Farmers’ Market, is an ideal outlet to do that, literally fresh from the farmers’ gate to dinner plate”.

The Farmers’ Market committee commissioned an onsite survey in April of consumers and stallholders to find out what they thought of the Market. The results are just in.

When asked why locals from the Marlborough region shopped at the Market, 86% said the quality, price and freshness of produce at the market attracted them, with over 66% coming most weekends. 94% felt that the venue of the A&P Showgrounds was convenient and had great ambience with the added option of weather cover. On average, nearly 1,000 people visited the Market each week during its season of November – April.

Farmers’ markets contribute to the social and economic welfare of the region, by providing a greater economic infrastructure to the community by keeping the money in the region and supporting locally produced products. The Survey showed the average consumer spend at the Market was between $15-$20. An economic impact to the region over the last three years of around $1.5 million, that stays in the local economy. The Market committee are hoping to be able to double this impact within the next two years.

Socially, it unites two different members of the community, producers and consumers. Consumers get to learn about their food sources and the producers get valuable firsthand consumer feedback. A two-way educationally experience. Infact, the Survey confirmed that 55% of the stall holders utilised the Market to enable them to gain direct contact with their consumers.

Consumers indicated through the Survey a desire to see more locally produced meats, cheeses, cakes, bread and fish on offer as well as more Fresh From the Farm Gate to Dinner Plate produce.

The Marlborough Farmer’s Market has over 30 producers from the area and is a non profit community service organization and has been established as an Incorporated Society. The Committee is happy to share their knowledge with other regions thinking of starting a Farmers’ Market.


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