Some might brand her as a heretic but researcher Rose Ryan of Southern Cross University says farmers markets are not necessarily the most effective way of selling local produce.
‘The area needs a more collaborative network that brings together government representatives, producers and consumers,’ she told the ABC’s Rural Report this morning.
‘We need to get people to think differently,’ she said.
She has tried modelling a new process with networks of farmers. North QLD has already started, she said.
‘What we’re negotiating is [based on] an existing wholesale partnership. [Produce] goes to a local distributor instead of going to Brisbane and back. Local food will be highlighted on menus and in independent supermarkets.
‘Just a small percentage of people shop at farmers markets and prices tend to be higher. It doesn’t necessarily have to be more expensive. The value comes in taking out some of the costs the farmer gets and in shortening the supply chain.
‘The key is convenience, affordability and provenance’, she said.