Bord Bia is set to host a series of farmers market skills training workshops around the country this November to support new and existing members of the food market network.

The Skills Training for Selling at Farmers workshops, designed by Bord Bia, will provide solutions to the challenges most frequently faced by market sellers. Local food producer, farmer and stallholder Margaret Hoctor from Kilmullen Farm, Co. Wicklow will deliver the workshops. Margaret is a regular at the Marley Park food market in Dublin, and will share her knowledge and experience as she developed the family business through this channel.

Farmers markets have experienced considerable growth in recent years. Bord Bia research (2014) identified over 150 food markets in Ireland, including community markets, farmers markets, lunch-time markets, weekend city markets, co-operatives and country markets. They largely share the same common aim, which is to allow producers to sell their produce directly to consumers in a traditional market environment.

The Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Mr. Andrew Doyle T.D. visited the Kilruddery Food Market in Co. Wicklow to launch the new initiative. Speaking at the event, Minister Doyle said: “Farmers Markets are a great opportunity for food producers and entrepreneurs to tell their story and to understand what captures consumers’ interest – what consumers regard as local, authentic and unique, what would encourage them to purchase on a regular basis. These Bord Bia training workshops are a great opportunity to ‘get market-fit’ and I’d encourage anyone thinking of starting or developing sales in a farmers market to attend.”

Bord Bia is planning four interactive half day workshops starting with Limerick on November 8th (The Castletroy Park Hotel), Cork (The Lee Hotel) on November 9th, Galway (Hotel Meyrick) on November 15th and finally Wicklow (Tinakilly House) on November 16th. A €15 charge per person applies and you must register in advance.

For registration and further information see www.bordbia.ie/FarmersMarketsTraining.

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