Council to support Farmers Markets with $20,000 sponsorship

The Dubbo Farmers Markets will receive a $20,000 sponsorship package over the next two years after a Mayoral Minute was passed at the December Ordinary Meeting of Council.

Mayor of the Dubbo Ben Shields said the sponsorship would come in the form of a fee reduction, by $10,000 a year. He said he was moved to create the minute after seeing how much good the markets do for the community and the impact the drought has had on the event and stallholders.

At present the Farmers Markets contribute $12,857 a year in fees, including access to the Visitor Information Centre for toilets, waste collection and site hire. Councillor Shields said the sponsorship would help the markets to remain viable during the drought.

“The Farmers Markets are a fantastic social event and they are also an important way of delivering produce from the farm gate directly to the kitchen of consumers and I’m a big fan of that,” Clr Shields said.

“This terrible drought is taking a toll on the entire agriculture industry and this is being reflected in the number of stallholders who have had been unable to keep regular attendance. It is critical that those who do still have produce are able to sell it and the markets have become a reliable way to do so.”

Clr Shields said he hoped the fee reduction would allow the markets to increase their marketing and increase their number of stallholders to benefit everyone.

“It would be devastating for the local economy if the Farmers Markets weren’t able to survive the current drought,” Clr Shields said.

“Not only are there a number of producers who are relying on the income through the drought, but others will come back once conditions improve. We need this market here and thriving for when the drought breaks.”

Farmers Markets president Estelle Joseph welcomed the sponsorship and said it would allow them to support their stallholders.

“We’d really like to thank the Mayor Ben Shields and the Councillors for this generous show of support,” Ms Joseph said.

“We’re very excited and very grateful. It couldn’t have come at a better time. This will allow us to promote the region and the great growers and producers who take part in the markets.

“For more than 15 years the Farmers Markets have been connecting producers and growers to local residents and promoting the benefits of fresh life on the farm and this will ensure it continues.”

Last Edited: 17 Jan 2020

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