Lake Wendouree market continues

InSeason Farmers' Market lost its tender to run Ballarat's Lakeside market.
InSeason Farmers' Market lost its tender to run Ballarat's Lakeside market.

A NEW organisation will operate a fortnightly farmers' market at Lake Wendouree as of next month.

Melbourne-based company InSeason Farmers' Markets learned it had lost its tender for the market in late July. 

City of Ballarat awarded the two-year tender to not-for-profit organisation Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions.

It is the first time in eight years that a new operator will run the fresh produce market. 

InSeason management told its group of 35 stallholders about the change this month. 

But the former stallholders have welcomed the change. 

Spring Creek Organics owner David Tatman said his fruit and vegetable business would not be affected by the change. 

"It doesn't worry me. It will not affect my business," Mr Tatman said. "It's probably a good time for change."

Mr Tatman, who has missed two markets in eight years, said the quality of the market had decreased. 

Fellow stallholder Langdale Orchards' Gavin Lang agreed.

"The stall fees could be an issue for some people," he said. "We are lucky we sell apples and pears and have a product we know is going to sell every month."

InSeason charged stallholders $45 for a non-powered site, per market. 

Former market organiser Carol Cullen said she felt the company had been shafted by council. 

"Council has enabled a hostile takeover of a private business," Ms Cullen said. 

"The actual takeover of the market is unethical and we are not happy about that."

BREAZE chairman Stephen Roberts said he was excited by the tender win. 

"BREAZE is very pleased that our successful application was selected based on our intent to improve and build upon the existing market," Mr Roberts said. 

"It's probably a good time for change."

Spring Creek Organics owner David Tatman

He assured stallholders that members of the BREAZE board had prior experience managing farmers' markets. 

City of Ballarat made about $3000 a year from InSeason. 

The council said BREAZE was awarded the tender because it scored better on the selection criteria than the two other applicants.

The first BREAZE market will be held on September 13, between 9am and 1pm, at Windmill Drive, Lake Wendouree.

The market will be held every second and fourth Saturday of the month.


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