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'Consumers rule' is farmers' market motto
BY ZANNIE FLANAGAN,
CEO ADELAIDE SHOWGROUND
"THERE needs to be a shift from a
production focus to a market focus
where the consumer's demands
come first and businesses work
together to meet those demands,"
SA's last thinker in residence, Dr
Andrew Feame said when he
presented his final report at a Rural
Press breakfast late last year.
"South Australia has a strong
heritage in food and wine and
some iconic brands to prove it, but
most businesses are too small to
go it alone -- so collaboration is the
Last week, farmers' market
managers and committee members
from around the State met to
discuss the formation of a State
farmers' market affiliated body.
Agreement between the parties to
meet on a regular basis to work
together and share information for
the future sustainability of markets
and to support future farmers'
market development, is a
significant milestone. Markets are
now operating around the State,
with six on a weekly basis, and
others trading monthly or quarterly.
Weekly markets are becoming the
lifeblood of some producers
struggling to make a living on
thirsty soils or through wholesale
distribution chains. With more and
more producers taking up the
option of this consumer-driven
phenomenon, it is important to
ensure that the markets remain
Already there are a significant
number of producers trading at up
markets per week. Producers
depending on this distribution
system have taken the leap of
faith, changed their whole business
plan, and now rely on the good
management of the markets and
the trust of consumers for much of
their income. As more and more
producers choose to sell direct, the
long term sustainability of the
markets begins to play a significant
role in the lives of the farmers and
their families who make the
One farmer who has recently
decided to make the change is Bob
Bob breeds Red Angus on his
property Najobe Park, just outside
Mt Barker. For a while now, Bob
has being supplying friends and
family with regular sides of beef.
He has his animals slaughtered
and butchered in Strathalbyn,
where the meat is packaged into a
variety of cuts suitable for family
This distribution method has been
so successful that he has decided
to increase this part of his
business and plans to join
stallholders at the Adelaide
Showground Farmers Market and
offer his prime Red Angus beef to
consumers there as well.
Like other meat producers selling
through farmers' markets, Bob's
decision will give his brand a real
point of difference and provide his
customers with surety of the origin
of their meat. The other difference
is that Bob's meat is hormone and
antibiotic free and grass fed, a
reassurance he can give all his
Bob will also be able to adapt
quickly to meet the demands of his
customers as they give direct
feedback on the taste, quality and
packaging of his product.
"There's a high level of
responsiveness in our business to
the demands of our customers. If
customers want a T-bone 45 mm
thick we'll give it to them."
Being able to identify the origin of
food products is becoming
increasingly important to
consumers. European supermarket
chains, reacting to consumer
demand, are moving towards the
tagging and identification of
products from paddock to plate,
and some export industries are
doing the same.
Farmers' market producers already
collaborate by coming together to
form a market. The affiliation of
markets across the State, agreed
to at last week's meeting, we hope
will provide further support and
throughout the sector to ensure the
sustainability of all the markets and
participating producer businesses
long into the future.
NEW ARRIVAL: Bob Heath has recently joined
the ranks of sellers at the Adelaide Farmers'
Market with his hormone and antibiotic-free,
BY MEG MURDOCH
FARMERS' markets are
increasing in popularity,
with a new one formed in
the Adelaide Hills earlier this
year, but Victor Harbor Farmers'
Market manager Brenton
Tamblyn says the markets
require more primary produc-
"There is a shortage of
vegetables grown in the area
and a shortage of old fashioned
market growers," he said.
The Victor Harbor Farmers'
Market originally had two
vegetable producers but then
slipped back to only one, who
was struggling with customer
demand, and as manager, Mr
Tamblyn said the only solution
he could find was to start
producing himself. His produce
will be available in the market
"We have just established a
market garden which is 1000
square metres," Mr Tamblyn said.
"It's fully enclosed which stops
bird and insect problems."
Mr Tamblyn has been manager
of the Victor Harbor market
since it began 14 months ago,
and says farmers' markets are a
"It's happening all over the
Europe," he said.
The Adelaide Hills market
began in January this year, and
market executive officer Erica
Davis said it has been a great
"The Hills has started, and it
has hit the ground running
which shows farmers' markets
are growing in popularity," she
Both markets' organisers agree
farmers' markets provide the
freshest food, and customers
can meet the producers.
"Customers want to talk to
the producers and find out
what's been sprayed on their
veggies, when they were picked
and how many miles they have
done," Mr Tamblyn said. "My
veggies are grown in Parawa
and will be picked, washed,
packed and sold within 24
From seeds to customer:
SUNNY SPECIALS: Sunflowers in full bloom at Hugh Cooksley's 'Rich
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Adelaide Farmers' Market
Where: Adelaide Showground
When: every Sunday
Adelaide Hills Farmers'
Where: TAFE car park
When: every Saturday
Where: Willunga Town Square
When: every Saturday
Victor Harbor Farmers'
Where: Grosvenor Gardens
When: every Saturday
FREECALL: 1800 686 828
Also tractor dual kits, snap on and economy tractor, header,
rowcrop rims and new and used tractor axle hubs, 8 & 10 stud
various diameters to suit all models of tractors.
SIZES -- PLEASE
Wanting rowcrop tyres and wheels?
Cropsaver Row Crop Wheel Equipment
provide tyres and wheels for intensive market
gardening to large scale commercial growers
T&C Tyres have an extensive range available
for any operator, whether spraying inter-row
cultivation or harvesting.
Full range of
Stub Axle and
RIM CONVERSIONS ARE OUR SPECIALTY
Every Saturday morning
in the Grosvenor Gardens
from 8am till 12.30pm.
Contact Market Manager Brenton
on 0439 849 824
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