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"To grow any good business, one must embrace change"
FARM DIRECT MARKETS, SALISBURY, LIGHTS-VIEW & GAWLER
FARM DIRECT IS ALL ABOUT THE PROTECTION OF OUR FARMERS AND PRODUCERS & SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY.
FARM DIRECTS NEW SITE LAUNCH AT THE OLD SPOT WAS A MASSIVE SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE, DISPELLING RUMORS SPREAD BY OUR OPPOSITION.
Having dealt with development planning and compliance issues for markets over the past few years, I want to clear up a few of the things that forced the move of the markets from Parafield to the new upgraded facilities at the Old Spot Hotel Parafield.
There are certain requirements expected of food markets, access to toilets from the advertised opening times, and during set up times, appropriate insurances, adequate parking and traffic control, disabled access, safe ground cover, food safety etc etc.
Loose rubble, pooling water, muddy car parks are issues that would not pass scrutiny under development planning and food safety legislation, let alone the resulting traffic congestion and the dangers associated with that. New vehicle access cut ins were never finished, neither was the car parking or the ground cover, we were not even afforded rubbish removal.
"All these issues would be demanded under development planning standards and indeed were demanded by Parafield Airport Limited."
I brokered the deal for the old Parafield site with the Airport Management, with the understanding the site would be brought up to scratch by the land owners in a timely manner. We were paying top dollar, for what was a vacant unused piece of land with no facilities, so I had every right to demand the development promises were met and to ensure the safety of both stall holders and customers, my job as the founder.
There were a host of other issues that required addressing,like toilet access and food hygiene, but for the sake of an overview, I will leave those issue to the authorities
The old site is in breach of development planning and would have no chance in hell of passing the usual council guidelines, it is partly my fault the approvals were issued before compliance was met, because I wanted the market to survive. I did that with the understanding the many issues would be sorted by the site lease holders.
The management team, worked even harder to bring in money for the land owners so they could cover the costs of the works needed, not by increasing stall holders fee's but by donating our time as volunteers, with Mark the founder covering marketing costs out of his own pockets.
When the land owners continued to ignore my pleas, in the best interests of the stall holders, our customers and the public in general, I brokered a deal for a better location, lower rental, better facilities, power, parking upgrades and the like, and I make no apologies for my actions.
We have had a few uninformed people question why we made the decision to move on-line even some of the stall holders I have supported for years spreading untrue rumours as a result of being misled.
We would be crucified if I ignored these issues and the market was shut down, or some one was seriously injured, when the second person was taken to hospital after a fall, The founder acted quickly and decisively finding a great location and made the move.
Any market opened on the old site, will have very little chance competing on a level playing field unless it attends to the aforementioned issues. Our management team and our volunteers, have no other motives other than protecting the best interests of our stall holders and our customers, we are not driven by self-interest or financial gain.
Our new market opened on the 23 rd at the Old Spot hotel with appropriate approvals and insurances; we are now larger than ever before with room to expand, increased parking, better facilities, bitumen as ground cover, and correct services one ought to expect from a professional market operation.
A majority of our Parafield stall holders moved with us, and maintained all the best farms, adding many more local producers, at the same time lowering the wholesale content of our market.
Rumours that very few stall holders have moved with us, are being used to undermine our good name, and convince stall holders to move to the old site, which says more about those spreading them, than any concept of honesty..
Those we did not opt to bring with us, for a variety of reasons including continued opposition to our Australian made and grown rule or as a result of regular warnings from food authorities, have now set up on our old site, which is great for the general public's free choice, as long as they are well aware Farm Direct is no longer interested in managing the site while it refuses to ensure public safety concerns or our motto of only allowing fresh Australian produce
Farm Fresh Parafield, is not a registered business and at the stage of writing this article, is neither insured nor compliant, the wholesalers on site have already started offering imported produce for sale.
Farm Direct will stick to speaking the truth, working in an honest and transparent manner as we always have, we will open with a full market of experienced operators, and so many familiar faces. We will continue doing what we always have, as everyone who attends will see, the only thing this spit has changed is we will only open at 80% capacity, not because we lack stall holders to fill the market to capacity, but because the split will temporary affect our customer base, and I won’t have that adversely affecting my growers.
With that point in mind, we will open at the same size as the old site, and build to a larger market than ever before over the first few weeks.
Parafield’s old site is now in the past, and I wish to leave it there, it is onward and upward for Farm Direct from here, and we will use our skills to open even more markets over the next few months, and I am sure all our farmers and producers as well as our customers will be impressed with our growth, because we will remain true to our core values every step of the way
We currently have approvals to operate in Marden, Blake's-Crossing and have applications in for several other locations.
Australian only fresh produce at affordable prices.
The Grand Opening at the new location was a massive event, proving our initiative has the full support of the community and the Farmers and producers we seek to support\
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