How far does your food travel before it makes it into your kitchen?

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A recent study conducted in June 2014 by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has revealed that farmers markets are an extremely valuable practice, not only for the farmers, but for the consumers and the community.

“Farmers’ markets are a vital and increasingly significant link in Australia’s food chain and provide a valuable distribution channel connecting farmers and specialty food producers directly with customers,” Says Ms Jane Adams from the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association (AFMA).

Farmers markets provide an accessible outlet for consumers to purchase products that are not only safe, reliable and healthy, but also great value for money. The reduced travel time and absence of packaging allows locally sourced produce to be fresher and more nutritious than commercial supermarket bought foods. This also makes it an incredibly sustainable and eco-friendly practice!

Farmers markets also offer many benefits to the farmers and stallholders. Farmers markets become a reliable distribution channel for local businesses and help to establish strong ties with the consumer! From a business standpoint, 80% of stallholders surveyed in the RIRDC study reported positive economic benefits from participation (p. 84).

Richmond Good Food Market

Richmond Good Food Market is a community initiative created to support the Hawkesbury’s local farming industry and provide community members with an incredible range of locally sourced products! It gives consumers the opportunity to meet the farmers and learn about where their food has come from. The Hawkesbury region is abundant with some of Australia’s highest quality fruit and veg, so why not make the most of it!?

Richmond Good Food Market allows community members to bypass the conglomerate supermarket chains and instead support the local economy and small businesses.

The market is held every Saturday morning from 7am at Richmond Park, NSW. They have a smorgasbord of products available from baked sweets, organic seasonal veggies, homemade jams and sauces and everything in between! The lineup changes weekly so you have the chance to pick up something unique every visit!

This week’s specials include:

– Jaggard’s salad dressings (caramelised onion oils, caramel mou and more)

– Hillbilly cider & Canonbah wines

– Juicy Gees fresh fruit juice

– The Chef Secrets organic coffee

– Paddock to Plate grass fed angus beef

– Bellview Hobby Farm fresh fruit & vegetables

 

… Along with a host of other local gems!

 

So head down to Richmond Park on Saturday morning and pick yourself up some delicious treats and support your local community and farmers.

To become a stallholder at Richmond Good Food Market click here!

Make sure you visit Richmond Good Food Market’s facebook page  and twitter for updates and info!


Woodburn, V. 2014. ‘Understanding the characteristics of Australian farmers’ markets,’ Rural Industries Research & Development, Australian Government.

No Boss, No Worries!

With over 60,000 members and a 14 billion euro revenue, Mondragon Corporation, founded by José María Arizmendiarrieta, is the world’s largest operating co-op. And guess what, the workers don’t have a boss! Well, there may be an organizational structure in place, however all workers will be rewarded with the same pay and rights. All workers still have a say in any business decisions to be made and the general day to day operation of the business. This is perhaps the biggest perk of a food cooperative business model – equal ownership and opportunity. The workers will usually also be able to purchase the products they sell at a heavily discounted price!

Co-ops operate as a not-for-profit business. So instead of any surplus profit landing straight in the boss’ sagging pocket, it is given back to the business and the members. The workers decide where the profits should go, whether that be in reducing the costs of products for their members or organizational maintenance of the business to ensure it runs at the highest degree of efficiency. Food Co-ops are a shining example of Lincoln’s coined phrase “For the people, by the people.”

No grumpy bosses and discounted groceries? It shouldn’t take much convincing!

Find your local food co-operative and get involved!

This post is inspired by a great NY Times article from March! Check it out here.