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Building the local economy: locally grown, healthy farmers’ produce coming together

Regional food producers from Bungendore and the southern region of NSW – and potential customers – can now connect to buy and sell fresh produce with the establishment of the Southern Harvest Farmers Market (SHFM).

The founder of the Local Food Initiative, Penny Kothe, said the markets will give consumers the opportunity to talk directly to farmers about where their food comes from.

“The aim of the SHFM is to focus on fresh regional seasonal food and to build the local food economy,” she said.

Current industrial food production systems involve significant food miles, and consumption of non-renewable resources in both food production and distribution systems.

The third SHFM will be held at the Tarago Show on 8 March, at the showgrounds, from 9am until 3pm.

Produce will include fresh vegetables and salad, local free-range eggs, freshly picked berries and berry preserves, native herbs, wine, chutneys and chillies, olive oil, seedlings, beef, pork, lamb and more.

The SHFM was launched at the Bungendore Show in January, and will be held once a month in different venues until it finds a permanent home.

“SHFM provides the opportunity for smaller producers to sell directly to consumers, and for consumers to purchase sustainably produced, regional, fresh produce with lower food miles attached,” Penny said.

Penny, who is also involved with FuturePLANS and Regional Development Australia Southern Inland, said they performed significant research into the local food economy requirements in 2014. “Our research looked at what the barriers were to local food production and consumption in the South East Region of NSW.

“The SHFM aims to provide a sales outlet for local producers of all sizes, to grow the regional growers and take more responsibility for our own food sources,” Penny said.

For more information on the roving Southern Harvest Farmer Markets dates and locations visit:

www.southernharvest.net.au/market/market

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