Farmers market boost for Pretoria entrepreneurs

(Pretoria) – The latest farmers market to hit Pretoria not only aims to display the freshest produce and delicious artisanal foods, but is also set to boost budding entrepreneurs and the community at large.

The inaugural Forest Hill City farmers market, which launched on March 12, was hosted in the shopping centre’s open parking area and featured more than 30 stalls offering items ranging from fresh produce to mouth-watering artisanal food, craft beer and other proudly South African products.

According to centre marketing manager Annah Moremela, the market aimed to uplift local entrepreneurs, introducing them to the more than 30 000 shoppers who flocked to the centre every Saturday.

“It’s a community hub – a place to meet up with friends and for parents to bring their kids and spend quality time together, giving them a taste of small town life in the midst of our wonderful big city,” said Moremela.

She added that it created a platform for people to meet and talk with farmers and food artisans and learn more about how and where food is produced.

FHC Farmers Market 1

“A trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways for our shoppers to learn about where their food comes from.

“Large agribusiness dominates food production in this country, making it hard for small family farms to compete in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a fighting chance,” said Moremela.

From a community involvement perspective, she said 25% of proceeds from vendor bookings for the inaugural market had gone to the local Wierda Park Primary School.

“For the next market we are considering involving more than one school and some NGOs as beneficiaries.

“This is a great opportunity for Forest Hill City to advance the value of its brand and build something great through a mutually beneficial partnership that enriches the whole community. We want the community to benefit from what we hope will grow and become a sustainable monthly market going forward.”

FHC Farmers Market 3

Although the date for the next market is yet to be announced, Moremla said it would likely become a monthly event as it had been enthusiastically received by stallholders and customers alike.

“We received such positive feedback that we are putting forward a motivation to host the market on a monthly basis, as per the vendor and shopper demand.”