Friday, July 3, 2009

FMNZ Update and Chairpersons report 2009

To all Farmers Markets and Food Producers of NZ

FMNZ is pleased  to announce the success of our Buy local Campaign which has seen the majority of Farmers markets in NZ commit to Authenticity  - " An Authentic Farmers' Market is one which consists of at least 80% certified local stallholders".      This includes Feilding Farmers' Market, Farmers' Market Taranaki, Southern Farmers' market, Orewa Beach Farmers' Market, Hamilton Farmers' Market, Cambridge Farmers' Market, Marlborough Farmers' Market , Wairarapa Farmers' Market, Christchurch Farmers' Market, Oxford Farmers' Market, Whanganui Farmers' Market, Parnell Farmers' Market, Nelson Farmers' Market, Waipara Valley Farmers' Market, Little River Farmers' Market, Central Otago Farmers' Market..........just to list a few.

FMNZ with sponsorshop from our new webprovider Marketground we  will soon be going live with our Buy Local milestone 5, that of a national database of Authentic Farmers' markets and food producers of NZ.  For more information on the website development or Authenticity please contact Kerryn directly at

Chairpersons Report FMNZ 09 (abridged below and full copy available from FMNZ website)

Looking back 12 months ago it would have been hard to imagine that the world would have been plunged into economic depression, that swine flu was the animal favored disease of the year and that general  food prices would have increased by 12 to 30%,  and also that Bernadine Prince would want to endure another 17 hour flight to join us on the other side of the world for a Farmers Market forum.  While both large and small countries have struggled with social and economic issues I have yet to hear of a real farmers market in NZ who has not increased in either local food producers or customers, or a real farmers markets who has had to close it doors or pull in its high flying executives and close their expense accounts. 

While the past has been written only by our success and failures we must look forward to the next 12 months and beyond to ensure that what has begun with passion and commitment is now actioned and driven by great business and organisational skills, for passion is something that can not be bought or sold.    FMNZ is a inclusive organisation and we were founded on the belief of sharing information.  We need to share the right information in a manner that emulates what our organisation and individual markets really stand for that.   Value; not just for our farmers who sell their crops each week, but to our consumers who support our farmers each week, rain or shine.  When we  talk about Value we are often confused with what high street does, value in the money sense, therefore we need to promote the value in the social sense, the value of what our farmers' markets do to enliven and make our communities prosper, what the value of children who attend our markets and interact with food and what this does to the culture of our communities and the value of what keeping real money in local communities does for the whole social structure of NZ and beyond. 

No farmers' market organiser or manager would have envisioned that when they had the great idea of putting a Farmers market in their back yards that they would be the catalyst for the way people change their lives as the social values of a farmers markets are felt over a greater area of NZ and the world.  This applies to our smallest markets with just one stall in Diamond Harbour to our largest farmers markets in Southland and Northland and cuts through all boundaries of social behaviour.  The real benefits of Farmers markets are sometimes misunderstood or poorly communicated due to a number of reasons, the main being that we as managers and organises  are in the business of providing a venue for our farmers to be able to sell directly to consumers. This does not mean that we should not be doing everything we can to promote the full circle of the food chain, and we can see this  happening in our communities and markets with gardens in schools, communities gardens plots, box systems, sustainable agriculture programs and localvore awareness

I implore that our members put faith into the executive of FMNZ to enable for them to do what we have been entrusted to do, to promote and to educate the benefit of Farmers markets and local food distribution systems.  I believe that we have the expertise and we are beginning to have the resources available for us to make a real difference in the way the people shop on a regular basis.  While FMNZ can not be held responsible for the weather at your markets each week we do need to be held responsible for the protecting of the words "farmers' markets" and the real value of our markets, that of being a food market where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers  sell their ware directly to the consumer.  Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm , pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves within a defined local area.  

Authenticity is our main issue moving forward and  the energies of the buy local contributions and the 6 milestones have all led  to Authenticity and what it means to farmers and consumers. I implore to all people who eat, (which is everybody)  to embrace food as a part of our culture and life, that when you sit at the table that you commuincate, laugh, cry, get angry, be happy, network, negate and most of all support our farmers and food producers as a part of our families and as a integral part of our communities

For any further enquires regarding FMNZ and for prompt service please e-mail or contact



Chris Fortune

Chairperson FMNZ


Chris Fortune
(03) 579 3599 Home

021 935 995 Mobile (marlborough farmers market)