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Type: Thesis
Title: Farmers’ markets and the benefits of participation for small family farms: a case study of two markets on the Mid-North coast of New South Wales
Author: Brie, Gabriella
Issue Date: 2005
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics : History
Abstract: In popular literature as well as some academic articles, farmers’ markets are usually described as a very positive development in the world of food retailing. However, farmers’ markets generally require some forms of government assistance for setting up, and a lot of nurturing from enthusiasts often on a voluntary basis. Many market managers report difficulty in attracting growers to participate and a high drop out rate of stallholders. Relevant literature from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia is examined and the results of discussions held with two groups of producer stallholders who participate in small markets on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales are analysed. This paper thereby seeks to examine the benefits that farmers may derive from participation in farmers’ markets and whether these benefits are sufficient to improve or maintain the viability of small family farms, as many enthusiastic supporters claim. The literature establishes that there are different kinds of markets: frequently held ‘experience’ markets situated in metropolitan and large regional centres and small less frequent, usually monthly markets held in small rural centres. The two kinds of markets provide benefits on a very different scale and the producers who frequent them are also at very different stages in their enterprises. Fulltime successful stallholders who make much of their income from farmers’ markets are to be found taking part in the frequently held city markets, while the smaller, less frequently held ‘indigenous’ markets tend to attract hobby and part-time farmers who derive the bulk of their income from elsewhere. Many of them only sell a very small proportion of their produce at farmers’ markets. The conclusion reached by this study is that while they confer many intangible, hard-to-quantify benefits on growers, such as advertising, market research, pleasurable social experiences and a reinforcement of their feeling valued as producers of high-quality food, small farmers’ markets do not provide the answer to the difficulties faced by small family farms. They are only one of several different marketing initiatives that entrepreneurially inclined farmers, who are by no means the majority, may be able to take advantage of, while still selling much of their produce to other outlets.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (LCB M.A.(Gast.)) -- School of History and Politics, 2005
Keywords: Le Cordon Bleu; gastronomy; coursework
Provenance: Le Cordon Bleu Master of Arts (Gastronomy)
Appears in Collections:School of History and Politics

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