ORANGE has been a trailblazer in a trend that has taken the nation by storm.
There were only a handful of regular farmers’ markets in NSW when the Orange Region Farmers’ Market was established 10 years ago.
There are now 43 in NSW and 152 Australia-wide.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has released research into the growth and sustainability of farmers’ markets.
Orange Region Farmers’ Market manager Cath Thompson agreed with the finding that markets were becoming increasingly popular.
“There’s an increasing interest in farmers’ markets and an overall increase in people being interested in where their food is coming from,” she said.
An estimated 2000 people attend Orange’s monthly markets, with crowd numbers swelling during special events such as FOOD Week.
A record 64 stallholders attended the April FOOD Week market.
Mrs Thompson said the number of regular stallholders had doubled since the market began.
“Everything is so big now. We’ve lost the corner shops. I think people are craving that contact,” she said.
Introducing new elements to the market is one way of increasing interest.
The market will play a significant role in Apple Fest from May 11to 13, a first for the city to celebrate the apple harvest.