Accreditation almost! Our market is very close to accreditation, just a little more paper work by our members and this market shall receive full recognition by Victorian Farmers Market Association. In time we anticipate 90% of our producers to be accredited by VFMA. There are incomparable opportunities for the Koonwarra market promoting through VFMA’s electronic media advertising, also with accreditation we can also precede with our next grant application with preferential handling. The committee is investigating appropriate grant funding for site improvements particularly in regard to the markets OH&S site issues. What do we get for VFMA producer membership? website (if requested on your membership form via the VFMA website). Visitors to the website will be able to find your profile (and the markets you attend) on the producers page, by searching by ‘region’, ‘product category’ or business ‘name’. If you request a producer profile you will soon receive an email with instructions on how to login to your user account and upload text and photos to your producer profile. Currently promotion includes weekly columns in Saturday Age's Life & Style section, the Sunday Herald Sun's food pages and The Age Epicure's Locavore, a producer segment on ABC774 on Saturday Mornings, weekly e-newsletters to the VFMA's Friends group and one-off stories in other media. The VFMA periodically checks which of our member markets are seeking producers and notifies member stallholders. Marquees offer exclusive to VFMA members! Call 1300 784 552 for more details. Subscription to our monthly Industry eNewsletter which keeps you in the loop on news related to our industry. Also plenty more support. Our New Year market Disappointment was expressed by some at the turnout last month, well down on past years. Reports from stallholders indicated that we had good attendance from all the surrounding towns; however the big holiday crowds did not arrived from the coastal region. They did however attend Inverloch in force the next day. No doubt that Inverloch Farmers Market had a big influence on the number of visitors to Koonwarra. This was the first time the two markets clashed on the same weekend; perhaps the change in calendar dates next year would encourage more visitors to Koonwarra. Customers have previously complained about the parking facilities here on busy days and the number of stalls that run out of stock by mid-morning. We have a lot of work to overcome that past detrimental image. All markets and retail business in general are undergoing a downturn; we have little control over that. This certainly means we have to adapt, work harder and smarter for Farmers Markets in general remaining viable for growers and producers. The good news is that history shows us that retail downturns are always followed by spending sprees. Today’s new stall Please welcome back Phil from Freeranger Eggs returning after a number of years. Also a farewell to Richie & Rosie Of ‘Grand Ridge Organics’, moving interstate for several years. We all wish you well and look forward to your eventual return. .