Think Global Act Local
A Farmers’ Market is a food market where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell their wares directly to consumers. Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from within a defined local area.
Farmers’ Markets are springing up all over New Zealand. Greater Christchurch has over 12 markets and most are open Winter – Summer, rain or shine.
These unique markets have numerous benefits. They are good for farmers as they provide a different source of revenue. They can get higher prices as the middle man is cut out and they have the opportunity to diversify their skills – gaining marketing and business expertise. They are good for the local economy; more money is spent locally and it circulates in the locality for longer. There is also high knock-on spending in other shops on market days. In contrast, spending at supermarkets greatly reduces the local spend, as most revenue leaves the local area immediately.
Farmers’ Markets are good for consumers and good for the environment. Consumers enjoy the atmosphere and experience of Farmers’ Markets. They get fresh, healthy produce usually at competitive prices. Food travels less far; there are less “food miles” and has less packaging.
Invariably, one of the main attractions of shopping at a Farmers’ Market is that they are vibrant social occasions. It is the atmosphere as much as the food quality which brings people back. A study of Farmers’ Markets in Ontario by the University of Guelph found that “Customers suggest that the market is a key community icon that can serve to reinforce and help retain community identity … customers pointed out that Farmers’ Markers represent an excellent alternative to mainstream supermarket shopping with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere that can not be duplicated anywhere else.”
Many of our local markets have a unique blend of farm, food and craft businesses. They showcase the sights, smells and sounds of a community – all of which draw tourists who bring new dollars from outside the community.
Another benefit is the opportunity for people to re-connect with food and farmers. Consumers meet the people who grow their food; they get in touch with where their food comes from and how it is grown. This is good for farmers as it makes consumers more sensitive to the farm situation – the more we understand the connection of family farms to healthy communities, the better for farmers everywhere.
A Market near you
Ashburton District Farmers’ Market
West Street Carpark, Sat 9am – 12pm
Christchurch Farmers’ Market
Riccarton House, Sat 9am -1pm
Gap Filler Farmers’ Market
70 Kilmore Street, Sun 9.30am – 1.30pm
Kaiapoi Farmers’ Market
Morgan Williams Reserve, Sat 9am – 12pm
Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market
Gerald Street, Sat 10am – 1pm
Lyttelton Farmers Market
London Street, Sat 9am – 1pm
Mt Pleasant Farmers’Market
3 McCormacks Bay Road, Sat 8.30am – 1pm
Ohoka Farmers’ Market
Ohoka Domain, Fri 9am – 12.30pm
Opawa Farmers’ Market
275 Fifield Terrace, Sun 9am – 12pm
Oxford Farmers’ Market
Main Street Oxford, Sun 9am – 12pm
Sumner Fresh Produce Market
15 Wakefield Street, Wed 2.30 – 6pm
Waipara Valley Farmers’ Market
66 Carters Road, Sat 9am – 12pm