Maitland Farmers' market: it’s Walka v Showground

Plans for a farmers’ market at Walka Water Works are

progressing, according to the proponents, despite plans for an alternative proposal at Maitland Showground.

NSW Farmers’ Market director Kevin Eade has met with the Walka board in the last fortnight and was confident the tranquil ground could become the ideal venue.

“In respect with everything we want to achieve Walka ticks every box,” he said.

“It has the ambiance, the space and it would pull more traffic through the centre

of Maitland benefiting those businesses.”

Despite some delays Mr Eade said the plans were progressing and that he was talking with council to ensure everything was in order.

“I’ve just got to fix up a few things on council’s end of the business,” he said.

“DAs always take time and certain things have to be done.”

Mr Eade has operated the Newcastle City Farmers’ Market since 1999 with a focus on

produce direct from the farm.

“At the end of the day we want to improve the bottom line of farmers,” he said.

“We have a charter and they have to prove they are producers and farmers before they get a gong.”

Mr Eade said while timing was important his focus was on achieving the best result possible for farmers and shoppers.

“We want to do it right and we’re just going take our time,” he said.

“I’m not going to be in a race.”

Mr Eade said he was aiming for 100 stores with an emphasis on delivering quality food to patrons.

“Were not looking at 200 stalls out there, that will never happen, we’re talking about small producers and high quality produce,” he said.

“We’ve got a stack of farmers on our books and they know how we do things and are happy with what we do.

“We really want to further farmers’ interests.”

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