A meat and egg producer is among those associated with the Orange Farmers Market who were left disappointed by Orange City Council's 11th-hour decision not to allow the market to go ahead on council land on Saturday.
Carbeen Pastured Produce owner Rodger Shannon has been selling chicken, lamb and eggs at the Orange Farmers Market since 2014 and said Tuesday night's decision was made too late.
"We obviously sell fresh meat which is a perishable product," Mr Shannon said.
"We already had meat processed and ready for the market, we had already done our abattoir run by the time they had made their decision.
"We are just a little bit upset that the council went this way because we've been told that farmers markets are an essential service from the federal government.
"The Australian Farmers Market Association has processes in place to make sure the farmers' market is as safe as possible."
He said the Orange Farmers Market committee spent a lot of time implementing processes and had notified the council of what it was doing.
He said as well as planning to implement restrictions such as the number of people to one customer per stall and enforcing safer distancing there was also less handling of produce at the market compared to a supermarket.
Mr Shannon said supermarkets were implementing as many hygiene controls as possible but produce could have been touched by any number of customers, in addition to others through the production, packing, transport and store processes.
On the other hand, the only people who would touch the Orange Farmers Market produce was the seller and or producer.
We had quite a few online orders and we are getting more.Rodger Shannon, Carbeen Pastured Produce
Mr Shannon said he was aware the council did have some concern about the markets but producers and the Orange Farmers Market were of the understanding it was going ahead.
He said he wasn't upset with the council with making the decision but he thought it should have been made earlier and the issue was not included in Tuesday's council agenda catching producers by surprise that evening.
Councillor Kevin Duffy added a motion to the recommendation addressing the farmers markets from the floor during the meeting.
Mr Shannon also took issue with comments suggesting people get local produce from farm gates.
H and said that concept was passing the risk from council onto individual producers and aside from coronavirus there were also biosecurity issues.
He said because Carbeen was a poultry farm the Department of Primary Industries has issued a biosecurity order to protect against the spread of Salmonella Enteritidis, which means people cannot visit the farm at Manildra.
Mr Shannon said travelling out of town for farm-gate purchases also went against calls to stop travel.
To cater for demand Mr Shannon is delivering produce to households and businesses.
"We had quite a few online orders and we are getting more," he said.
"We are fielding more inquiries when are are trying to get out and work.
"[The farmers' market] is not a huge part of our business, we had made our business so we were already doing a lot of online and people were just picking up at the markets.
"Now those people are getting delivery of those products instead of them picking up at the market."
People who have pre-ordered produce for the Farmers Market can still collect their food from The Agrestic Grocer on Saturday between 8.30pm and noon.
Mr Shannon said he would drop off some orders at The Agrestic Grocer but he would also offer free delivery to his customers on the day to reduce the number of people visiting Mitchell Highway site on Saturday.
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