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Sargent opens Sonairte Farmers' Market in Laytown

Mr Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, performed the official opening of the Sonairte Farmers' Market in Laytown, Co. Meath.

The market is operated by Sonairte, an organisation established in the late 1980's by members of the local community to promote environmental awareness and education.

Speaking at the opening event Minister Sargent highlighted the important role farmers' markets can play within communities saying "experience to date of farmers' markets suggests that they can provide wide-ranging and long-term benefits, both locally and regionally, which can be measured socially, environmentally and economically".

The Minister pointed out that well organised markets of a consistently high quality can become a very valuable tourist attraction, bringing more foot flow into towns to the benefit of all retailers and that "recent research has shown that €10 spent at a farmers' market will result in a net income of €24 for the community. It has also been estimated that trade for other businesses increases, by up to 30% when a market is run in a town".

Farmers' markets provide customers with an alternative shopping experience, with access to fresh in season produce direct from the producer and for the producers they provide a great opportunity for market research and the testing of new products.

Date Released: 31 March 2008