Market surge in the Valley

Fresh flowers, fruit and veggies from local growers and handmade cheeses, wines and pastas are just a selection of the things you will find at the many farmers markets scattered across Latrobe Valley.

The Valley’s residents are embracing the recent surge of farmers markets in the area and with markets now held every weekend in Gippsland, community members have the option of purchasing straight from local growers on a weekly basis.

The latest market to join the calendar, Traralgon’s 50 Mile Farmers Market, gathers local businesses within a 50-mile radius of the town, providing the community with the best of local produce in the one location.

Organiser Tony Lea said he believed the rise in popularity of farmers markets came down to the customer and grower relationship.

“The markets allow customers to meet the people behind the products,” Mr Lea said.

“They get the opportunity to see and talk to the people who grew the produce and see first-hand the money is going directly to the grower.”

Mr Lea said farmers markets also provided local producers with valuable feedback.

“They get to meet the customers and receive direct feedback on their products and what the customer wants,” he said.

“If they were to sell through a third body, they wouldn’t get that feedback.”

Me Lea said it was important the markets stayed true to their names and incorporated the farmers and producers.

“Resellers are not allowed at the Traralgon site, otherwise it’s just a market,” he said.

Morwell 50 Mile Farmers Market organiser Liz Young said farmers markets provided customers with the opportunity to meet the people behind the food, as well as learn “how it’s treated and the effects on their health and body”.

“People can buy fresh and know it’s come locally,” Ms Young said.

She said people visited the market seeking fresh fruit and vegetables, with repeat customers coming specifically to buy their goods.

However, Ms Young said it was the atmosphere that made the market charming.

“People have such busy lifestyles, it’s the coming down to the market and bumping into people and having conservations they may not otherwise have (that makes it special),” she said.

“It’s an occasion.”