Market change

November 22, 2017

The Finley Farmers’ Market will no longer be a monthly event.

Citing waning monthly attendance and volunteer fatigue, the Finley Farmers’ Market Committee says it can no longer sustain a monthly market.

At the committee’s AGM last week, president Gemma Brockie said all members recognised the greatest market interest and attendance was for those that coincided with specific calendar events — the successful FinCity Food and Music Festival, Christmas and Easter Markets.

‘‘We looked at our greatest successes since we started and identified that themed markets with special events, like a visit from Santa or the Easter Bunny, have always proven successful,’’ she said.

‘‘Despite the best efforts of the committee, community attendance has declined in recent years and the volunteers, who have generously given their time each month, are looking for ways to reduce their significant contribution.

‘‘We are moving the market in a new direction by listening to the Finley community.’’

With a reduction in the number of markets, Mrs Brockie said it is unclear whether the Finley Farmers’ Market Committee will continue to run in its current form.

She said a number of options are being considered, including a partnership with the Finley Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

‘‘It’s too early to say what will happen to the committee, as the decision (to move away from monthly markets) was only made last week.

‘‘We will explore a number of options. The committee isn’t ending, only the monthly markets.’’

Chamber president Gary Carr said while the Farmers’ Market Committee’s decision was yet to be discussed by the chamber, he was confident it would support the committee in its future direction.

‘‘We would be interested in seeing markets continue in Finley, with a different format,’’ Mr Carr said.

‘‘Ultimately, it’s a chamber discussion we need to have, sooner rather than later, so we can ensure it can all work.

‘‘The Farmers’ Market complemented the FinCity Food and Music festival and we would facilitate the markets again at next year’s festival.’’

Mrs Brockie said working in unison with big events like FinCity would improve the markets for customers and shareholders.

‘‘There is the potential this could draw more stallholders or different stallholders to what we have had at the monthly markets,’’ she said.

‘‘What was successful for our stallholders at FinCity was the family approach and music in the background — that really worked for the market.’’

Since its inception in September 2011, the Finley Farmers’ Market has donated close to $25,000 to the community.

It has provided start-up opportunities to local businesses and given the community access to local produce and products.

The final monthly market will be held on December 2, at Finley’s Railway park from 9am to noon.

A Christmas themed market, it will include a Santa visit, gift stalls and all the usual fresh food, produce and fun.

‘‘The committee members will be putting all their effort into making this market a great celebration for the community,’’ Mrs Brockie said.

‘‘We encourage everyone in the district to come and say farewell to the volunteers and stallholders who have loyally attended each month since 2011.’’

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