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Hamilton Farmers Market coming soon - February 5

Farmers market coming soon

Foodies rejoice. From February 2006, Hamilton will have a new “gate to plate” produce market.

The Hamilton Farmers Market will be held on the first and third Sunday of every month from February on the corner of Tristram and Collingwood Streets. Stalls will sell a variety of farm fresh produce and processed foods from around the Waikato.

Organisers Tracey Lowndes and Keith Hutton say the market will give shoppers easy access to seasonal produce, specialty foods and direct contact with growers, while also helping small scale growers and food entrepreneurs expand their customer base. More established businesses can use it as an opportunity to test new products or simply maintain visibility.

The market’s goal is to encourage local growing and local buying and the rules make that clear.

“One of the reasons farmers markets are becoming so popular around the world is because people are increasingly interested in knowing where their food is coming from. They like the idea of meeting the grower and of buying from someone they come to know and trust,” says Tracey.

That means only growers or food-makers can take a stall and there is no re-selling allowed.

Similar markets around the country have met with a strong response and the growing interest in setting up new markets has prompted establishment of the New Zealand Farmers’ Market Association. New Zealand has around a dozen farmers markets so far, while Australia has 50 and the US 3500.

Traditional farmers’ markets sell only food – primary produce, fresh food, and processed produce such as preserves and relishes. The only exceptions are seedlings, cut flowers, compost and fertilisers.

“We want the Hamilton Farmers Market to become part of what people in Hamilton do on a Sunday,” Tracey says. “So they turn up, grab a coffee and take their time wandering around tasting, soaking up the atmosphere and buying their fresh fruit and veggies. At the same time they’re supporting local businesses which means their money is reinvested in the region. We think that’s an appealing combination.”

- The first Hamilton Farmers Market will be held on February 5 from 8am until 12pm on the corner of Tristram and Collingwood Streets. The site has been provided by Wintec in support of the market. Anyone interested in selling at the market or supporting The Hamilton Farmers Market Trust should call Rachael Voyce on 07 868 8220 or email rachael@tourismtactics.co.nz

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