Limestone Coast Markets Charter

The mission of the Limestone Coast Food Group Inc (LCFG) Farmers and Artisan’s Markets is to help producers, processors and local artisans to sell their goods directly to the public, near their source of origin, creating benefits to both the market participants and the local community.

Our Markets are regional food and artisan works markets that operate regularly within our community, at focal public locations that provides a suitable environment for farmers, food producers and artisans to sell region-origin fresh produce, wines, associated value – added processed food products, and artisan works directly to customers.

To continue the growth of the LCFG Markets as the region’s pre-eminent Market providing our community, residents and visitors, with the opportunity to purchase directly from local producers and to enable people to come together to celebrate a holistic understanding of local food, wine, art and community.

The LCFG Markets’ core values are based on the following:
• Authenticity
• Produce / Artifact Origin
• Knowledge of product
• Fair Trade
• Education
• Community Wellbeing
• Celebration of Region

Core Objectives Background:

Authenticity and provenance of origin are fundamental objectives of the LCFG Markets. These two objectives are important principles that the Markets value and we base our operation on them as they give the community the opportunity to buy directly from the regional producers who grow, raise, shape and make their produce. Regions value their distinctive culture and history; the vibrance of their independence is core to regional strength. The LCFG was founded on this belief and the current Markets are our ongoing commitment to it.

The community trust that all stallholders are being true to the Markets’ ethos and that they are purchasing directly from the producer / artisan and that no agents, wholesalers or resellers are involved.
The LCFG Markets follow this Charter to select and approve its stallholders.
Food / Wine producers must have grown, bred, caught, pickled, brewed, smoked, fermented or baked the goods themselves, preferably from local raw materials. Artisans must create unique artifacts that demonstrate high level of skill and artistry, again preferably from local raw materials.

All stallholders agree to abide to this Charter to ensure the community is buying direct from an authentic local producer, farmer or artisan. If the stallholder does not abide to this Charter stallholders will be asked to show cause as to why they should continue at the Markets and this may result in the termination of the stallholder agreement. These and other values are detailed as follows:

1. Authenticity
The key to an authentic Regional Market is the principle that farmers, producers and artisans sell what they have grown or made directly to market shoppers. To achieve this objective, produce from agents, wholesalers and resellers or those dealing substantially with mass produced inputs that are bought in will not be accepted.

(In recognition especially of farmers’ necessary time commitment to on-farm and food production the LCFG Markets allow collaborative farm groups to jointly sell fresh produce, whereby there is always at least one group representative farmer or farm employee at a Market selling on behalf of the group participants, and all funds are returned directly to individual participant producers.)

2. Produce Origin
Produce / Artifacts offered for sale at the LCFG Markets are to be from the region designated as the Limestone Coast and associated Western Victorian Regions as defined in the Rules and Regulations of the LCFG Markets. Exceptions may arise if speciality produce is not available from within the state, and in these instances the market management may permit the participation of other regions’ vendors.

3. Knowledge of Product
LCFG Management recognises the commitment growers, producers, and artisans have to the land and their creative work. With this in mind, the Market Charter allows Stallholders to gain support of family, friends and employees to work at their stall to represent them and their product.
(Vendors must ensure that the family, friends and staff at their stall are connected and knowledgeable of the product / artifacts they sell as this is a fundamental value of the Markets’ Charter by providing the customer with transparency and direct knowledge of what they are purchasing.)

4. Fair Trade
The LCFG Markets are committed to supporting farmers, producers and artisans being paid fair prices for their produce. Equally, it is intended market shoppers will be offered produce / artifacts at affordable and competitive prices.

5. Education
Central to the vision for the LCFG Markets is the creation of ongoing learning opportunities for the community to participate in food education, creative work through agricultural displays, hands-on cooking, art and craft demonstrations, and farming demonstrations.

6. Community Wellbeing
The marketplace is at heart of the community. The LCFG Market will provide a pivotal community destination and facility for the sale and purchase of farm direct produce, value-added fresh food, wines, and creative works. The Market seeks to cement relationships with farmers, producers, and artisans to foster fundamental perspectives on community strength through our regional food, wine, and creativity. The LCFG Market is an inclusive market and will provide an opportunity to showcase multiple cultures.

7. Celebration of Region
The LCFG Markets are focused on the social, economic and cultural strength of our region, we are proud of the quality and diversity of our community. We celebrate regional food in all its expressions ranging from the farmers who grow it, to the artisans who value-add, to cooks who create sustaining meals to be shared. We also celebrate the holistic view that nutrition for the spirit is as important for personal and community health as food is for the body. Creativity is a fundamental of the human psyche and is given expression at our Markets through our regional artisans and invited guests.

LCFG Business Rules

To ensure the fundamental values of the LCFG Markets are established and maintained for the ommunity, all stallholders will be required to abide with the following LCFG Business Rules:

Food and Farm producers – Provide a detailed seasonal list, product list and supporting farmers’ list for approval.
Artisans – Provide a detailed input list, product list and creative process description for approval.

Fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, egg, and other food / farm produce stallholders must have more than 85% of their own produce at their stall and less than 15% from other producers.

If a stall is a co-operative from the region a maximum of four farmers / producers or producers can be part of this stall. A letter must be received from each entity noting what they produce and when it is available with contact details for approval.

If a stallholder is supporting a local producer from their local community (by carrying their produce) they must clearly sign post this support, after the product has been approved by Management.
Farm, producer and artisan checks may be held for assessment of all stalls against the Charter.

Stallholders may not receive final approval of products until a visit has been conducted, this may mean seasonal visits for some stallholders.

Please note a ‘Local Producer’ means a producer who is in your immediate area and can deliver the produce directly to you or you can collect it directly from them. No produce can be collected through any other distribution point.