The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD announced this week the award of the Farmers’ Market Good Practice Standard 2011-2012 to 30 farmers markets. (Details annexed). The Minister said he was delighted to see the interest in the Standard. His Department and Bord Bia would welcome further applications up to 24th May. Application forms are available on websites http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/agri-foodindustry/farmersmarkets/ and http://www.bordbia.ie/aboutfood/farmersmarkets and may also be obtained from the Department’s Food Industry Development.Division.
Minister Coveney added that “There is a growing consumer demand for healthy foods that are locally produced. Research by Bord Bia shows that local food is now seen as food that is not mass-produced but is about small-scale production and hand-made produce. People wish to sustain their own local community and markets can connect small producers with consumers in a very direct way. Local food systems and farmers markets support the economy. We have a long tradition in Ireland of producing high quality safe food. Many small food producers and food entrepreneurs engaged in farmers markets draw on that heritage to revive or re-invent local traditions”.
Farmers’ Markets displaying the Good Practice Standard undertake to hold markets regularly, to stock a substantial proportion, ideally at least 50%, of local produce from the county or neighbouring counties, to accommodate seasonal and local garden/allotment produce and to promote compliance with food safety/labelling rules. Details of where and when farmers markets and country markets are held are listed on the Bord Bia website http://www.bordbia.ie/aboutfood/farmersmarkets