Farmers’ Markets, Farm Shops and Box Schemes are a key source of local food throughout Ireland. Although markets would have played an important role in Ireland historically, they had all but disappeared by the second half of the 20th century. The modern farmers’ market concept was pioneered in the United States in the 1980s. Farmers’ markets developed in the UK from the mid ’90s onwards and have emerged as a force here in recent years, with about 150 markets now in regular operation in Ireland. A full listing of these is available here - www.bordbia.ie/farmersmarkets
With increasing unemployment in Ireland of late, consumers are certainly keen to support local jobs and with producers usually manning stalls themselves, a farmers’ market is perhaps the most tangible way for them to do this. Local Food is also a very important component of food tourism by showcasing foods which are indigenous to a locality and the stories and people behind them.
The information in this section is principally aimed at potential or existing stallholders at farmers’ markets. There are also sections relating to Farm Shops and Box Schemes.