A new public awareness campaign is set to put the ‘farmer’ back into Victoria’s farmers’ markets.
The Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association (VFMA) is stepping up its efforts to ensure stallholders that trade at farmers’ markets genuinely are the farmers who grow the produce they sell.
The first salvo in the VFMA’s campaign is a visually-striking new logo that will signify whether a farmers’ market and its stallholders are “the real deal”.
The association has also announced renowned chef and author Rosa Mitchell, from Melbourne’s Rosa’s Kitchen and Rosa’s Canteen restaurants, will become an official ambassador for the farmers’ market movement. Rosa is an advocate for cooking with locally-grown fresh food and has long been a passionate supporter of farmer’s markets.
VFMA president, Wayne Shields, says it’s important the Victorian public understands the difference between a genuine farmers’ market versus a market that simply masquerades as one.
A key element of the VFMA’s charter is managing the Victorian farmers’ market accreditation program, an initiative supported by the Victorian Government and designed to ensure the credibility of participants.
The program advocates best practice and celebrates the work of genuine farmers, specialty makers and farmers’ markets themselves.
Inspiring and Educational
Over the past five years, the VFMA has grown from 100 stallholder members and 19 markets to nearly 800 members and 39 accredited markets.
Shields says one of the key reasons underpinning the popularity of farmers’ markets is the public’s growing discomfort with the origin of much of the food they buy from large supermarkets.
Shields also believes the experiential aspect of farmers’ markets has a lot going in its favour.