Market makes tracks to new hub

Supporting local: Southern Farmers Market chairwoman Annette Trent welcomes the public into the new location at the former Invercargill Railway Station.

THE Southern Farmers Market has moved to a new location in a hope to draw more people and stallholders.

The popular gathering was transferred from Racecourse Rd to the former Invercargill Railway Station’s car park last month.

Market chairwoman Annette Trent believed it was the right choice.

Not only had the market had to move several times since the Masonic Hall was sold in 2019, but feedback from customers and stallholders showed a need to be in a more central area with more foot traffic, she said.

“Some people thought the other location was too far away. It was awesome but now we have a more central and highly visible one.”

Mrs Trent hoped the new location would also attract more stallholders.

Last week, about 20 local businesses showcased their products at the market, but she wanted to double this number.

“Our focus is definitely on rebuilding the fresh produce area and getting those local growers to come back and join us.

“We hope to obtain community funding to employ a produce development person whose role would be to increase local supply of fresh fruit, veggies, meat and hopefully seafood.”

Due to Covid-19 compliance requirements, the team could not create a social area, with tables and chairs, for people to eat and socialise more there.

However, she hoped life could return to normal soon.

“We want to be able to have a place where people can come every week to enjoy, find something new and buy local.

“And this is one important thing – there is nothing here that isn’t made by locals so everybody who shops at the market is supporting the locals.”