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New operator brings fresh ideas for market

Rotary Club of Armidale AM will be managing the city’s farmers markets from 1 November, after Council this month awarded the operator’s licence to the community service organisation.

The local Rotary club was chosen from an Expression of Interest process and had proposed a number of initiatives to improve the popular markets, as an asset to the community and a drawcard for visitors to the region, Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.

“The Armidale Farmers Market operating licence has expired and Council invited Expressions of Interest, to ensure a process that is transparent and fair for all interested parties,” Councillor Murray said.

“Two high-quality submissions were received and the selection panel was particularly impressed by the Rotary Club’s ideas to grow and enhance the markets.

“Council places a lot of emphasis on activities such as Farmers Markets because they provide a great opportunity for the community to purchase home-grown local produce, as well as a place to meet and socialise.

“In addition, the markets provide additional off-farm income for numerous people in the Armidale region.”

He said farmers markets were also highly popular with many visitors.

“They are well known Australia-wide and provide a great opportunity for local producers to get their products out to consumers from outside the region.”

The markets will continue to operate at Armidale’s Curtis Park and will be held on the first and third Sunday of each month.

Cr Murray praised the current operators, Armidale Farmers Markets (AFM), for their “tireless work, experience and passion in running the markets”.

“The markets are treasured by their many patrons and the wide variety of stall holders,” he said.

Rotary Club of Armidale AM President Sam Doyle said he and his committee will be meeting with the current operators to ensure a smooth handover.

“We will also work with current stallholders and the wider community to continue the markets in the existing format, while implementing a number of improvements,” Mr Doyle said.

“We have some exciting new ideas for the markets, with a continuing focus on local producers and their fantastic products, to promote the Armidale region and the broader New England area.”

 

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