Accreditation of Victorian Farmers’ Markets

Posted by Josette Dunn on 14th April 2010

The first farmers’ markets in Australia will be accredited on Saturday 15 May 2010 under the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association (VFMA) Accreditation Program.

organic food basket

The VFMA commenced a rigorous stallholder application process and 150 farmers and specialty food makers were awarded accreditation last November.  In just four more months, that number is now approximately 350, with many more applying.

According to VFMA President, Miranda Sharp, the new Accreditation Program has been developed to ensure the fast growing farmers’ markets sector is made
up of genuine farmers, producers and makers.

“Accreditation goods that are directly from farmers and makers and that customers dollars are going straight back to regional communities,” explains Sharp. “The upcoming
accreditation of farmers’ markets themselves will allow people to easily identify genuine markets which are what they claim to be with no re‐sellers.”

Now when you visit a farmers’ market in Victoria, accredited stallholders are displaying an accreditation logo on their stall and a certificate of authenticity.

Farmers’ markets will gain accreditation under the VFMA Accreditation Program through a rigorous process once they have no less than 90% of stallholders accredited in metropolitan areas and no less than 75% in regional areas.

The Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association is an independent, not for profit body operated by its members made up of farmers, producers and farmers’ market managers. It aims to support and promote authentic farmers’ markets throughout the state and now there are over 70 in Victoria with a conservative annual income of over $100 million to Victorian food producers.

The development of the VFMA Accreditation Program has been a long process with detailed consultations within the farmers’ market community since 2006.

Throughout the development of the Program the VFMA has conducted a thorough study of international accreditation programs, engaged a dedicated accreditation development officer and established advisory committees made up of farmers’ market stallholders and managers.