The Andrews Labor Government is supporting farmers’ markets grow and thrive with a $100,000 Food Source Victoria grant to provide a network facilitator to the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA).
Victoria has 48 accredited markets across the state, from Mildura in the northwest to Leongatha in the southeast with huge potential to grow in number and strength.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas made the announcement today in Daylesford and said the funding would help employ a network facilitator to draw on the expertise of Victoria’s farmers’ market network to identify tangible, feasible opportunities for growth in regional Victoria.
A recent research project into the sustainability of famers’ markets identified key strategies and influencing factors that affect the viability of farmers’ markets and found there are opportunities to grow regional economies through farmers’ markets.
Farmers’ markets are an important source of income for small agricultural businesses in regional Victoria as profits go straight to the producer and serve to strengthen the local economy. Farmers’ markets also help attract tourists and boost local jobs through flow-on sales in nearby towns.
The VFMA is aware there are opportunities to grow businesses and production in regional economies through the networks created by farmers’ markets and will use its new network facilitator to help capitalise on this.
In the past four years, the Labor Government has supported regional communities establish and grow farmers’ markets through the Farmers’ Markets Support Program, boosting jobs, tourism and giving primary producers a direct outlet to consumers.
The VFMA is a not-for-profit membership association with 900 members across Victoria and half its members are farmers.
As stated by Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We know how important farmers’ markets are for local producers and local economies – we’re so proud to back the VFMA in helping them realise their potential to expand and grow our paddock to plate business.”
“Accredited farmers’ markets provide consumers with the assurance that the produce they purchase has been directly grown by the seller, which means the profits are going straight to the local producer.”
As stated by Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas
“Our region proudly boasts an abundance of fine, fresh produce and farmers’ markets are another way we’re supporting our growers expand and grow their business – and that’s fantastic news for Macedon.”