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"Farmers' Markets useful outlet for 'Farm Direct' fresh produce" - Minister Smith at the official opening of the Cavan Farmers' Market

Speaking at the official opening of the newly established farmers' market at Railway Road Cavan today, Mr. Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with special responsibility for food and horticulture, said that farmers' markets have an increasingly important role in Ireland's agri- food sector.

"They offer consumers a new food experience and for small food producers, in particular, markets can provide useful income and a low-cost opportunity for testing the market for 'farm-direct' fresh produce. The direct contacts between producers increase understanding, always a sound basis for good business and food entrepreneurship. Farmers' markets can also assist the development and expansion of regional food products, which I believe offer real potential for growth", said Minister Smith.

In his opening address, Minister Smith paid credit to McCarren and Co. and to Alan McAdam of the LEADER Programme for their work in establishing the market. Minister Smith also announced details of a North-East Food Forum for small food producers from Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath to be held on Monday week June 12th in Carrickmacross. Minister Smith said the purpose of the forum was to provide local food entrepreneurs with an opportunity for showcasing, making business linkages and meeting the State Agencies for advice on what they have to offer and he encouraged producers and would-be producers to attend.

3 June, 2006

Date Released: 03 June 2006