Farmers’ markets show the ‘spirit of survival’ amid their return

After what has been a very difficult few months, farmers and food producers are preparing to showcase the “spirit of survival” that exists in Irish agriculture.

This is according to Irish Farmers Markets director Sean McArdle, who is preparing for the first of the company’s post-Covid markets.

Farmers and food producers will be up and running their stalls in Co. Kilkenny this weekend, at a new venue on the grounds of Mountain View, near Ballyhale.

McArdle said there has been a very positive response from local food and crafts producers, despite the financial hit they experienced during the last number of months.

‘Incredibly difficult time’

“The south-east has an abundance of top-quality producers,” he said.

“This will give them an opportunity to showcase their produce in a safe and crowd-friendly environment.”

McArdle acknowledged that it has been an “incredibly difficult time” for the food and hospitality sector over the last number of months due to Covid-19, but he praised “the effort many producers have been making to adapt to the new circumstances”.

This farmers’ market is a good example of the Irish spirit of survival that will ensure our innovative producers have a bright future ahead.

What will markets look like from now on?

While many things may be different to how they were before, this market hopes to set a precedent for other event holders on how to keep people safe, while also having an outlet where people can continue to support local farmers and their produce.

Stalls will be set 2m apart, with customers at a 2m distance from the front of each stall. Staff at each stall will be wearing visors and gloves, with contactless transactions being encouraged.

Queues will work in a one-way system and masks and other personal protection equipment (PPE) will be sold at the entrance, with hand-wash stations available throughout the market area.