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Byron Shire
September 26, 2022

Only real farmers and real food at Byron Farmers Market

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Farm auditor Quentin Wright at Bangalow Farmers Market.

Later this year, Byron Farmers Market will celebrate its 20th birthday. An impressive feat given that when it first started almost two decades ago, it was one of the original farmers’ markets in the country and one of only two operating in the Northern Rivers.

Since then, dozens of other farmers’ markets have sprung up in the area – catering to people’s want, and need, to buy locally, reduce their food miles and support local food security. Unlike supermarkets, farmers’ markets offer a unique shopping experience – a chance to buy just-harvested food directly from the people who grew it and connect with community. 

One of the reasons for the success of Byron Farmers Market over the past two decades, and its sister market at Bangalow, is its authenticity policy. Every stallholder at both markets has undergone a strict auditing process to ensure that the produce they are selling is genuinely locally grown or made.

Heading up this process is independent auditor Quentin Wright. A fourth-generation farmer from Armidale, Quentin moved to a property in Byron Bay in 2007 where he is regenerating the land when not out visiting and auditing local farms. Quentin says he finds his role with Byron Farmers Market ‘incredibly rewarding’.

‘I get to visit family farms and see the range and diversity of the businesses and the tenacity and determination people have to make their businesses work,’ he says. ‘And starting a business is not easy – they have to be able to adapt to the market. People aren’t going to buy from them just because they are there. They are going to buy from them because they have a good product.

‘I have been auditing now for three and a half years. It’s a very important role within the market because it gives assurance to customers that the produce available at Byron and Bangalow Farmers Markets is genuinely produced by the stallholders, not resold produce. 

‘It also gives stallholders assurance that their fellow stallholders are genuine farmers and producers, keeping the ethos of the market – being local and authentic – alive and well.’

Byron Farmers Market is held every Thursday 7–11am at Butler Street Reserve and Bangalow Farmers Market is every Saturday morning 7–11am behind the Bangalow Pub. 

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