OHOKA FARMERS MARKET REAL FOOD REVOLUTION
There is more to life than Dairy Farms and Agri business. The market and its customers are just doing what many others are doing elsewhere. Nothing special. But something worthwhile. Something that makes a difference in our lives.
The farmers market is part of a much larger global food movement of food sustainability and food resilience. You can check just who some of those others are on the Links tab.
Many of us are making different choices about what we eat, who we buy it from and how we grow and make it. We care about what we are putting into our bodies and into our environment. After many years of industrial corporate food production and the misinformation that has accompanied it, along with an almost laissex faire history of factory farming we are becoming increasingly concerned that ‘conventional’ farming has in fact caused many problems not just overseas but right here in New Zealand. We are redefining and challenging the existing food system by supporting those small producers. We are changing the mindset that has for so long allowed these counterproductive and damaging methods of food production become the norm.
Farmers Markets don’t represent the farmers of yesterday. Farmers markets are about the new farmers.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE with small business in mind
An alternative food system starts with the growers, farmers and producers and ends in the markets, independent shops, food boxes, CSA's, food hubs and community gardens. It encompasses everything from the soil we grow our foods in to the businesses we trade with.
Making the right choices about our food is not always easy when you have a culture that promotes, encourages and supports an industry that is often counterproductive to healthy lives. Making the right choices about food starts with having the right mind set. Farmers Markets provide people with the ability to become informed about their local growers and what food is available. Our communities then have the chance to become food secure and achieve food sovereignty.
Growers and producers have been making this transition to a fairer food system by joining their local farmers markets for many years. They are the small food businesses that make up the market and they sign up to the market objectives which are based around 3 principles: Social well being, environmental sustainability and hopefully economic viability. This is a form of social enterprise at work. Our focus is on the purpose.
It is no easy task to take on the dominant industrial food system which dictates governmental food policies, what most people eat, what growers can grow, how land is treated and how animals are farmed. But change is in the air; smart farmers and food producers around the world are embracing the opportunities that this food revolution offers.
Regenerative farming is showing ‘conventional farming’ how to do it better.
Congratulations to our thousands of supporters from Friends of the market, to regular customers to all our visitors from afar! Congratulations too, to those enlightened farmers and food producers. You are all making a difference every time time you choose to buy from your local growers and food artisans at the market.
wE BELIEVE THE ALTERNATIVE FOOD COMMUNITY NEEDS TO GROW SO WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED OR ARE INVOLVED IN eCO aGRICULTURAL or REgenerative farming ENTERPRISES.
bEYOND THE MARKET- It's more than just Fridays Our FRuits for School Campaign
What happens every Friday morning goes so much further than the local area.
Every year we aim to share the farmers market ethos around our local community.
Since 2016 we have been gifting 40kg of apples (grown by Ashley River Organic and now Growns’ family orchard in Nelson) to a low decile school in the area every fortnight. In 2018 we started a Pledgeme Campaign with the aim to raise $10,000 in two months to fund fresh fruits of all kinds every school Friday for a year. Unfortunately we only raised $3,600. We are of course grateful to those who did share our ambition, but we were not able to proceed with our objective. We will however continue to donate apples every 2nd Friday as usual to the children of Kaiapoi Borough. Proceeds from the surcharge on our EFTPOS help us to do this too. The market has also supported local Charity Jams, Westpac Air Rescue, the Cust Volunteer Fireservice, NZ Cancer Society, SAFE, and numerous other charitable groups in the region who are compatible with our objectives.
what's so good about FOOD SOVEREIGNty, FOOD SECURITY and Food RESILIENCE?
Food Sovereignty came about in 2006 via Via Campesina. In a nutshell, food sovereignty is the right of peoples, communities and countries to define their own policies regarding their seeds, agriculture, labour, food and land. These policies must be appropriate to their unique ecological, social, economic and cultural circumstances. Food Sovereignty includes the true right to food and to produce food. It is about ownership. Agri business dominates many of the choices you make regarding food. Supermarkets are synonymous with this industry and you can read more on this in our market voice blog. The bottom line; they sell mainly processed foods which are nutritionally inferior, cheap to make and they squash many small businesses in their area eg fishshops, vege grocers, organic shops, pet supplies, bakers etc etc.
Food Security is when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Shopping at the farmers market is the best place to ensure you get the safe and nutritious. Your food security is threatened by the dominance of the Supermarket/s in your area.
Food Resilience is a holistic response to a situation where change has become necessary for a community's well-being and survival. By incorporating food with the social, environmental and political, communities who actively strive for food resilience are able to offer alternative and independent ways of feeding themselves and their communities. They aim is to be food secure. This is the Farmers Market!
Check out our Links page for sites of interest.