Carlow Farmers Market started trading in July 2004 and was set up to respond to the local consumers wish to have fresh, local and traceable food and the producers wish to sell locally and directly to the consumer.
The market is held every Saturday morning between 9am and 2pm in the Potato Market, Carlow town, a central shopping area.
Here consumers are offered fresh local produce including: local fruit and vegetables, organic fruit and vegetables, jams, chutneys and juices, organic meat,free range meat and dry cured bacon products, crepes cooked on site, chocolates and truffles, country style butter, quiches and savoury tartlets, traditionally crafted breads and cakes, speciality breads, sweet fare, a range of locally produced cheeses, olives and pesto, fresh fish, free range eggs, summer and winter bedding plants and vegetable and herb plants and other seasonal products.
Today the Market comprises of 14 speciality food producers who come together weekly to sell their locally produced food products.
Carlow Farmers Market is considered unique in that it is one of a few authentic farmers markets where producers are all local, produce their own products and sell mainly their own produce. This market supports the local economy and provides opportunities for other food producers or farmers to set up small food businesses and meet the growing demand.
Carlow Farmers Market gives the consumer direct access to producers and the products they have on sale which ensures freshness and quality. With a growing concern amongst consumers for reducing carbon footprints and food miles along with consumer fears over pesticide use, traceability, animal welfare and environmental factors, buying direct from producers at Carlow Farmers Market will eliminate these conc-erns.
The market also acts as an added dimension for local tourism as the promotion of Ireland as a Food Island gains momentum. It provides the consumer with a community atmosphere which high street retailing cannot offer and it also gives small food producers and farmers a social dimension offering them the chance to meet, interact, share views and form a network.
Carlow Farmers Market can provide long term and varied benefits to County Carlow including; access to in season quality fresh locally produced traceable food, access to producers, access to customers, networking opportunities for farmers/food producers, a community atmosphere, a boost to the local economy, sustained and increased employment and an enhanced level of choice for consumers.
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