Small producers take on the Central Markets
For three weeks in July, small food producers from the Murraylands and Riverland showcased their wares at the Producers in Residence stall at Adelaide’s Central Markets, with local chefs also spruiking food from the region at the Demonstration Kitchen.
The stall provided a very cheap, low risk and high visibility platform for 30 small businesses to test a retail space in Adelaide.
Producers offered tastings, got direct feedback from consumers, and spoke with retailers and distributors.
John Holland from Almond Grove Turkey was one of the producers who got on board, promoting new boutique lines of turkey bacon and chorizo.
“We got some good feedback. It’s nice to get that reinforcement, and it gives you an opportunity to get out there and keep in touch with the end user,” says John.
RDA Murraylands and Riverland organised the stall to help small producers test the market.
“The RDA are really good,” says John.
“They run a lot of events allowing business owners here to hone their skills, and I attend them when I can. [Producers in Residence] was certainly worthwhile.”
Regional Development Manager – Innovation and Growth, Vanessa Liebelt, says that participants have already seen great returns.
“An independent supermarket in Murray Bridge has started stocking some of the featured products. We even had a Chinese distributor wanting to buy the whole stall,” says Vanessa.
A distributor from Queensland also visited, and recruited five producers to send ongoing regular shipments to shops and venues in that state.
To complement the stall, chefs from Monarto Zoo, Thomas Farms Kitchen and Loxton Hotel featured local produce at the market’s Demonstration Kitchen each Saturday.
Greg Janssen, Food Operations Manager at the Loxton Hotel, says that “we have some fantastic locally grown and manufactured produce, and I love being a part of sharing that with consumers.”
Greg says that what he enjoyed most about the experience was “connecting with people who love to taste good food, and sharing my passion as a chef and Riverlander.”