Farmers’ Markets offer mid-week shopping

Published: Tue 11 Nov 2008 04:06 PM
Farmers’ Markets offer mid-week shopping
A number of established Farmers’ Markets around New Zealand are launching mid-week twilight markets this spring. The demand for these additional markets comes from growers and food producers who want greater opportunities and from customers who want more frequent access to fresh seasonal produce.
Farmers’ Market organisers in Auckland, Hamilton, Blenheim and Christchurch are adding mid-week twilight events to their existing weekend markets. Spring favourites, strawberries and asparagus, are best enjoyed as fresh as possible so a midweek shop is just the thing. In addition, the markets will be laying on entertainment to enhance the summer evening experience.
In Marlborough, fruit grower Jennie Crum welcomes the move. “We're stoked with Tina's plan (Tina Fortune, Marlborough Farmers’ Market manager) on setting up a mid-week market right in town aimed at catching workers wanting produce, since here in Marlborough lots of town workers live out in the Sounds etc and don't want to come back in to town in the weekend, so they miss out on the Sunday Farmers’ Market and so miss out on the local fare offered.”
”We make an effort to sell Windsong's fruit as close to home as possible” Mrs Crum added “So that the minimal handling needed and short time frame from picking to sales means it can then be picked with the added sweetness that ripening on the tree entails. A large percentage of our crop is sold at the weekend markets, but the extra that is currently packed up and sent off to organic shops and supermarkets can now be sold to new customers at the mid week market.”
The attraction of evening trading has drawn Te Puke to launch its first Farmers’ Market on 23rd October. This runs every Thursday from 4 – 7pm
Farmers’ Markets New Zealand media spokesman, Ian Thomas, says that the move to open multiple markets represents a growing dynamic within Farmers’ Markets. One where growers are offered increased opportunity by being able to sell at more than one market. In Hawke’s Bay markets operate on Saturday and Sunday. In Auckland some producers are able to attend 5 or more markets over the weekend as well as the new midweek City Farmers’ Market and in Canterbury stall holders sell at multiple markets including the twilight Wednesday Canterbury Farmers’ Market. The importance of this growth in opportunity is that it represents a more sustainable solution for producers as well as a more convenient option for shoppers. Thomas hopes that the increased market hours will see more fresh produce growers choosing to sell at Farmers’ Markets

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