Farmers bounty makes buyers’ market

George from Triple Q Egg Farm. 212260_03 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Seasonal produce at Dandenong Market is in cheap abundance, up to 50 per cent cheaper than supermarkets.

In this National Farmers Market Week (2-8 August), it’s worth remembering many of the market’s traders selling fresh foods are primary producers themselves.

They include Triple Q Egg Farm, Hart’s Honey, Taylors Orchards and Peninsula Organic Farmgate.

Some traders have direct relationships with farmers, the rest source their produce from wholesale markets.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve been doing all we can to continue operations for our traders and the farmers and community that depend on them,” Dandenong Market general manager Jennifer Hibbs said.

“We’ve had floods and droughts at the start of the year disrupting food supply chains but traders at the Market have displayed resilience and we want to use National Farmers Market Week to acknowledge the critical role they play providing fresh, quality affordable produce during this particularly challenging year.”

As one of Australia’s oldest markets, Dandenong Market’s links to farmers stretch more than 150 years, back to its first livestock sale in 1866.

By 1870, the Market’s auctioneers, in addition to livestock, sold fruit, dairy products, skins, lard, honey, hay and other farm produce.

Farmers from throughout the La Trobe Valley and Gippsland travelled to Dandenong to buy and sell.

Today the market welcomes 5.6 million visitors a year.

This month’s seasonal produce includes apples, lemons, limes and mandarins as well as sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots.

“Despite Covid-19 and the many challenges we face together, the Market continues to welcome our community while following all health recommendations and directives,” Ms Hibbs said. “Dandenong Market is essential to the life and livelihood of millions of customers, hundreds of small business traders and thousands of farmers.”


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