Nationals to support local farmers’ markets
13 March 2018
Euroa’s farmers’ markets are in line for a valuable boost, with The Nationals’ pledging to bring back the popular Farmers’ Market Support Program if elected to government in November.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said the $2 million program helped support existing farmers’ markets and establish new ones, giving small producers more opportunities to sell directly to the community.
“We are very lucky in our region to be the home of some fantastic producers and farmers’ markets which give the community an opportunity to buy fresh, locally grown and produced food directly from the producers themselves.
“For many people, the monthly farmers’ market is a date not to be missed – whether it’s Lancefield, Tallarook, Nagambie, Euroa or Avenel. These markets promote locally sourced and grown produce and they help generate jobs and investment in small food producers and the community through increased tourism.
“Markets like that at Violet Town have contributed enormously back to the community by bringing in an outside source of revenue that supports the town’s many community groups.”
Ms Ryan said while farmers’ markets gave people with an interest in the provenance of food an opportunity to meet those who raised, produced or harvested their food, the Andrews Government was putting the squeeze on local small producers with miles of red tape.
“When I visit the markets in our region and speak to stallholders, they often tell me that they are being strangled by government red tape,” Ms Ryan said.
“Most recently Labor has announced they intend to subject small pig and poultry producers to planning changes which some say will drive them out of business.
“This will make life even more difficult for our local producers who say they are already at a competitive disadvantage with NSW producers who do not face the same level of regulation but who can sell their products into Victoria.
“In addition to bringing back the grants program for farmers’ markets, we will take a common sense approach. We will work with small producers to ensure regulation is sensible so they can get on with what they do best – producing delicious, locally made goods,” Ms Ryan said.