A study to establish farmers’ markets across Victoria’s Great South Coast region will be supported with a $33,000 Victorian Government grant, Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, announced today.
“Great South Coast (GSC) is a regional initiative designed to deliver a range of community and economic development projects on behalf of the six partner municipalities – Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Warrnambool, Southern Grampians and Glenelg,” Ms Tierney said.
“While proposals to establish farmers’ markets in the GSC region are being driven by local groups, a regional approach would save significant human and financial resources and provide a strategic direction for the development of vibrant and viable farmers’ markets in the region.”
The Great South Coast Farmers’ Markets Plan comprises a feasibility study into developing farmers’ markets in the region, identifying a preferred model and an action plan.
Key tasks include consulting with key stakeholders, doing a produce audit, determining producer interest in participating, assessing regional demand for produce, and mapping existing farmers’ markets in the region and analysing the impact of competing markets.
Ms Tierney said adopting a regional approach would contribute to the further development of food and wine industry networks across the region and enhance relationships between producers, industry specialists, and local and state government representatives.
“The project will also create opportunities to develop partnerships between community groups, local councils and producers through the investigation of possible governance arrangements for future farmers’ markets,” Ms Tierney said.
Ms Tierney said farmers’ markets provided an opportunity for producers to sell their produce directly to consumers.
“Farmers’ markets also provide a healthy, affordable and fresh food supply for the local community, and enable people to get more information about the availability, seasonality and origins of their food,” Ms Tierney said.
“Farmer’s markets also provide producers in a region with an opportunity to work together in identifying new business prospects, particularly in relation to supply chains.”
Ms Tierney said the Great South Coast Farmers’ Markets Plan would be funded with a grant to Warnambool City Council through the Brumby Government’s Farmers’ Markets Program.
“The $2 million Farmers’ Markets Program was established to help farmers’ markets across Victoria grow and operate as economically sustainable community events that bring clean, green, local produce direct from farmer to consumer,” Ms Tierney said.