New farmers’ market to be added to Rotorua’s weekends
New farmers' market to be added to Rotorua's weekends
7 July 2016 - A new Sunday market showcasing local produce is to be launched in Rotorua later this year, building on the success of the city's other markets.
The Rotorua Farmers' Market will be launched in October during the city's annual tulip festival and will be different to existing markets, with a focus on locally grown produce and pantry items, demonstrating the concept of manaakitanga (hospitality and sharing) and with a distinctly Rotorua flavour.
Locally grown produce and pantry items such as pickles, jams and artisan breads will feature at the market. One-off stalls will be available for the likes of community groups and individuals to sell fruit, vegetables and jams and it is envisaged there will be kitchen demonstrations.
It will also provide a platform for new business or business growth in a welcoming environment and is seen as a way to extend visitors' stay in Rotorua.
The weekly Sunday market will be held in the heart of the inner city, the former City Focus, with entertainment and food-related demonstrations to add further interest. The stalls will be in the form of wooden carts which will be made locally from locally sourced timber.
In the first year there will be 20 to 30 carts with more added in subsequent years.
The new market has the support of those involved in existing markets in Rotorua and interested stallholders are already lining up to be involved.
Councillor Janet Wepa, who leads council's Sustainable Living portfolio, says the market will have the support of local individuals and community gardeners who have established a local food network and had suggested a farmers' market last year.
It was something that came up during portfolio consultation last year with the people involved in the food network - which includes organic gardeners, groups involved with community gardeners and individuals.
They saw a farmers' market as providing an opportunity to share their produce and skills with the wider community and contributing to increasing our community's sustainable living capabilities. They'll be very pleased to see this is now going to happen and I think it has the potential to be a great success, Councillor Wepa says.
Inner City Revitalisation portfolio lead Councillor Karen Hunt says the work to set up and run the market will be done as part of delivery of the inner city strategy.
This new market, in its very central location, will really add something different to complement our other markets and add to the activity and vibrancy in the central city. I know it will have the support of some of our current night market stallholders who were asking for a different offering, she says.
The Rotorua Night Market on Thursdays, which has been going since 2010, has gone from strength to strength, becoming a popular weekly destination. It is largely a dining experience with stallholders who sell ready-to-eat food having the most success.
Meanwhile, Rotary's Saturday morning market, also a success and a popular weekly destination, offers a mix of fresh produce, crafts, secondhand goods and mainly cooked food.
Councillor Hunt says she is very confident the new market is a concept that will work.
The location is very visible with plenty of foot traffic and markets are a popular trend. People also like to source locally-grown and produced items and they just generally enjoy the market experience.
Care has been taken to ensure this doesn't compete with any other local markets and I think it will provide additional interest for both locals and visitors.
Sustainability will also be a focus of the market - no plastic bags will be used and there will be a goal for the market to become waste-free.
Affordable stallholder fees will create an income for the market that will pay for the initial set-up and ongoing operating costs, with the initial costs coming out of the Inner City Revitalisation budget allocated in the council's 2015-25 Long-term Plan.
The initial set-up cost, including construction of wooden stalls which will be used, will be $120,000 with annual operating costs expected to be $80,000. The expectation is that it will become self-funding and will break even within four years as a result of revenue from stallholder fees.