Market workshops

CENTRAL Victorian farmers are invited to attend two workshops in Bendigo next week to learn about selling at farmers’ markets.

The Victorian Farmers’ Market Association (VFMA) is running the workshops which aims to benefit  food producers – both farmers and makers of speciality food products.

Bendigo Community Farmers Market manager Hayley Davis said a customer survey last year found that people wanted more fresh primary produce from farmers at the market.

Mushrooms, oats, and nuts (other than walnuts) were just some of the fresh produce in demand at Bendigo, she said, and more farmer stallholders were welcome.

“I highly encourage farmers from the Bendigo region to come along to these workshops,” Ms Davis said.

“I don’t think a lot of people realise that (some) people are earning a living from farmers’ markets, because it cuts out the middleman by selling direct to consumers.

Some people are earning a living from farmers’ markets. - Hayley Davis

“Chefs also come to farmers markets."

VFMA Industry growth officer Tristan Maclean said VFMA-accredited farmers’ markets – now numbering 39 across the state – were an attractive option for many food producers.

“Many of the stallholders accredited with our association have grown burgeoning businesses based on their relationships with farmers’ markets,” Mr Maclean said.

“These workshops help people to realise the potential this industry can offer.

“Our farmers’ markets bypass the wholesale market, thereby levelling the playing field for local farmers and food producers, ensuring they’re getting a fair price for their products.

Shoppers at our markets care about locally produced, high-quality food, and many enjoy getting to know the people who produce their food.”

The first workshop, “Getting Started with VFMA Accreditation”, offers the nuts and bolts of the accreditation process, including how your application would be assessed.

Participants can complete their accreditation applications with VFMA staff on hand to help.

The second workshop, “Selling at Farmers’ Markets”, is aimed at new stallholders, with information on how to apply to markets and get involved in the industry.

The workshop will cover the permits required and how to obtain them, as well as what’s needed for a successful stall on market day and selling techniques.

“Getting Started with VFMA Accreditation”, 10am to 12pm, $30. “Selling at Farmers’ Markets”, 12.30pm to 4pm, $50 including lunch. Or attend both workshops for $70.

The workshops will be at Loddon Mallee Regional Development Victoria office in Bendigo on Tuesday, February 18.

To book visit: www.vicfarmersmarkets.org.au, or phone 03 9020 8035.

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