Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
19 Nov 2019
1:43 pm

Small-scale farmers can sell produce for free at Leriba Hotel’s monthly farmers’ market

Adriaan Roets

It's a great initiative to support local farmers, and an opportunity for them to sell produce without all the bureaucracy of being 'bespoke'.

AFP/File/Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

Let’s cut to the chase – there’s no shortage of bespoke markets in South Africa. They’re everywhere. And while these are great to visit for consumers, the truth is vendors often shell out a lot of cash just to be there – and that doesn’t mean their products or produce are guaranteed to sell.

Vendors at The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg and Cape Town, for example, are put through a curation process after filling out an application form. You need to be able to provide something new and different than existing exhibitors and abide by a number of rules, including sustainability, etc. If your product saturates the market – bad luck, you won’t be invited to the party.

If you want to take part in The Linden Market happening at the end of the month at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, again you’re put through an application process and need to pay to exhibit.

General vendors pay R1,000 per day, and have to exhibit on Saturday, 30 November and December 1. Food vendors pay R1,250 per day while alcohol venders shell out R2,500 per day.

There’s nothing sinister about this. In the case of The Linden Market, which only happens a few times a year, this cost ensures the market a spot in the public gardens and contributes to advertising and a number of overhead costs for organisers, but for small-scale farmers this could be a problem.

Move over to The Fourways Farmers Market and selection is quite strict.

The market outright states it will only be in contact with applicants “should we feel that your product will fit in with the market, and should we have space”.

Imported and mass-produced products are forbidden.

There are grounds to question this – because small-scale farmers or producers are then almost left out of the equation. Markets are great spaces to interact with clients and build up relationships, which could mean guaranteed business.

But there’s a game changer in Leriba Hotel Centurion. Every last Saturday of the month farmers can sell their produce at the monthly farmers’ market at no cost. Currently 14 farmers form part of the group, but more are welcome.

Surprisingly the hotel gardens are a great spot, and seeing as this is a new market there’s a lot of room for growth. The next market on November 30 also offers free wine tastings as well as wines sold at cellar prices.

It’s a great initiative to support local farmers, and an opportunity for them to sell produce without all the bureaucracy of being ‘bespoke’.

Farmers still need to book their spot at the market by phoning 012 660 3300

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