Push for Warwick support to keep market producers viable
GROWING harvest markets are poised to offer struggling farmers a lifeline but for many, more Warwick support is still needed to boost the profile of fresh produce.
Today boasted the second Country Harvest Market — an initiative set up by the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society to bolster producers on the back of a year without shows and ongoing drought.
Yet the society announced last night that no fresh produce stalls would be present at the August market.
In previous discussion with the Warwick Daily News, Warwick Show and Rodeo Society Marketing and events manager Teilah McKelvey said despite the markets gaining traction, many producers were still opting for the certainty of bigger Queensland venues.
“It is always a struggle to get local producers on board, but we have a great selection of artists and body products, food, crafts,” she said
“A lot of pre-existing markets in Brisbane have dates set for quite a while in advance, and a lot of Brisbane based market have a higher demand of product.”
She said the Warwick community needed to understand why the produce often cost more than supermarket stock.
“We understand there’s a higher price for organic but we need to get behind these smaller producers that offer that product because it’s fresher and it’s a higher quality,” she said.
“We can’t complain about not having it and then not supporting it when it becomes available.”
Kingsthorpe agricultural supplier Bevan McLeod, who was the sole producer today, said farmers were looking for guarantees when it came to markets.
“It think it’s dead right … When you go down to Brisbane markets or similar, more people buy in bulk,” he said.
“I sell of lot of the pineapples in Noosa (purchased from the Glass House Mountains) to the organic shops down there and have quite a run down there. It takes me nearly all day.”
Still nothing could beat the in-person interaction of a local market, assured Mr McLeod.
“At a market, you’re talking to the people actually doing the job — there’s nothing like it,” he said.
Today’s market still boasted a rich supply of local crafters and cookers. Check them out here: