Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Farmers Market not attracting trade in Forres

A few times this observer has suggested that Nairn could do with a few market stalls once a month or even weekly. Sobering news perhaps from Forres however, were the monthy "Farmers market" is to take a break. It could be that other issues at play though, there is a complaint in the comments on the this Forres Gazette web page about price.

Do Gurnites think a market would work in Nairn despite the difficulties experienced in Forres? This observer would envisage a charter allowing anyone that produced food, goods or crafts in the boundaries of Nairnshire to sell goods at such a market.


The Moan Ranger said...

Farmers markets were originally intended as a symbiotic type relationship between producer and consumer. The Producer (farmer ) could sell produce direct to the consumer and receive a higher unit price than the rip off supermarkets. The consumer benefited from slightly reduced prices but much fresher goods. For the greener amongst us the reduction in food miles was a added attraction.

However in recent years the his concept has been hijacked with professionals overtaking and selling processed goods at inflated prices to give “middle class foodies” a conversational topic at the dinner party. ( “Lovely Stuffed chicken arses Darling- where did you get them?” : “Oh there’s this fabulous manny at the farmers market makes them himself during a full moon, Expensive but worth it yah”?)

The farmers have also been guilty of milking the cash cow too. To make a farmers market successful you need to be able to offer higher quality produce at comparable prices to the main retailers. The last time I visited one ( about 6 months back) I was shocked at the prices for things such as carrots and tatties. The freshness was there but the prices were markedly more than the high street. The market was also selling things like Crocodile meat.. I am not aware of a single Crocodile farm in Scotland! In order for a farmers market to succeed then it would need to offer something different, the “Nairnshire stamp” of quality/origin may indeed help, but consensus would need to be achieved on pricing structures and the actual cost of producers attending the event i.e. stand prices needs to be fair and proportionate. These events have been hijacked and it would be great to see one return to its roots. I would gladly show my support.

get your lovely veg here said...

The last time I visited the farmer's market in Inverness, the organic veg stall was selling fresh organic carrots for half the price that ordinary ones were priced at in Marks and Spencers (admittedly not the cheapest of shops)

One of the problems for any real farmer these days is that they often just grow a few select crops, which often sold before they go in the ground for supermarkets. They just don't have surplus stock nor the variety to support a local market

Most of the farmers who supply local box schemes or attend farmer's market buy in a quantity of their stock rather than grow it all themselves.
Most folk have no idea as to what seasonal produce is and expect to see the same range as supermarkets sell

I would support a local market but I suspect it would take a radical change by farmers to support one. And could I blame them for taking a fixed price for their whole crop from a supermarket rather than stand in the cold in Nairn High St whilst someone tells them they can buy their vegetables cheaper elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no-one mentions the fact that the Forres farmer's market lost a great many customers in recent months the through the closure of the RAF base.

Perhaps they are just keeping quiet about this in the hope that the army when it arrives will will spend their wages in the town?

Jane Harkiss said...

Mmmm stuffed chicken arses sound yummy. What are they stuffed with, may I ask? And I love the slightly edgy full-moon thing. Pxx