interactLearn English Story   Farmers Market
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ZANNIE FLANAGHAN: Well our vision for the Farmers Market was that we could provide a venue where small producers and large could come together in one location, a central location in Adelaide, and sell direct to the public.

People here can find locally produced milk, some organic produce, vegetables and fruit from the Hills, the Fleurieu, as far away as the Coonawarra and, of course, Virginia. And the Barossa, so there's a real selection here of meats, fruit, vegetables, breads, everything that you need as staples for the home.

We've tried to provide a real community experience here. For Sunday mornings you can get up, come down to the Farmers Market. Some people are lucky enough to be able to walk with their trolleys. You don't have to have breakfast before you get here. We provide a good farm breakfast. We provide activities for the children and we run each week a demonstration kitchen.

Most of our producers are small business people. Like most small business people they find it difficult to market their product while they're actually producing their product. Some of them don't ever see the customers who buy their products and the success stories of the market is the fact that these small producers actually learn marketing skills.

So what the market provides is an opportunity for market research. If they want to develop a new product line they are able to come here, trial it, get some feedback, go back to the farm or their factory or their kitchen and make those adjustments to those products.

WOMAN 1: We grow fruit commercially but the Farmers Markets are really good for us because we can talk to the people who actually eat our produce. We really enjoy it. It's good fun and it just reinvigorates you. You want to go home and you want to grow more and you want to come back.

WOMAN 2: We have developed quite a good relationship with a lot of regulars coming in here. We have had a lot of interest from the other consumers, restaurants etc and we have quite a few of the stallholders here that utilise the different products with theirs, you know, olive oils and chocolates etc.

ZANNIE FLANAGHAN: The farmers learn how to market. They also learn to be able to sell their products and actually talk about their product. And the people that are most passionate about the foods we eat, apart from the consumers, are the people who actually make it. They make their stuff with a passion and people can actually learn about how they're made. So they can ask, 'What kind of sprays do you use on this crop? Is this crop organic? What's your watering system like?' All these issues which are very concerning to the public at large at the moment.

I think the market has been so successful because consumers have lost contact with their food chain. They realise that a lot of their food is now grown somewhere, sent somewhere else, processed, put in cardboard box and sold in their local supermarkets.

Consumers who want to buy locally: they want food with flavour, they want food with a face and they want to be able to trust that food and I think trust is one of the big things that we offer consumers here at the Farmers Market. They actually get to know the person who's making their food and it's very hard to lead them astray because most of them are fairly discerning about what they put in their mouths.

What people realise when they come to the Farmers Market and what we're trying to underpin here is the fact that a healthy community is tied to a healthy environment and in the middle of that is the food chain.

And so if we can increase farmers' incomes through sustaining their foods for the long term and sustaining their production for the long term then I think that's what will have a great impact on not only the health of Australia but also the health of our community.

And that's what we're about. We're about linking the environment to healthy people and the food chain's in the middle of that.

It seems incredible that we've only been open for five months. We've got 700 members on our database already and they're our prime shoppers. They're the ones that turn up rain, hail or shine because they understand that if they don't their market might not be here. So, they are very interested in supporting our concept and making sure that it remains viable.
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