CORNER BROOK — Katie Temple believes a farmers’ market would work in the city.
“But the challenge is having somebody to initially take the lead to be able to spearhead a market. To really create a business plan and to get all the logistics and administration worked out to start off on the right foot in the beginning,” said Temple.
Temple talked about a research study that used the former West Coast Farmers’ Market as a case study at a lunchtime event at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland on Thursday. The event was hosted by MUN’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development and Grenfell’s Environmental Policy Institute.
The research project, which was completed in June, was funded by the Harris Centre and conducted by the Environmental Policy Institute.
Temple is a former employee at the institute and is also a member of the Western Environment Centre, the organization behind the West Coast Farmers’ Market.
The study looked at the market as it existed prior to this past summer when the environment centre had to cut it due to a lack of resources and at the potential for a market in the area.
Temple said vendors, customers, farmers and the community at large were all consulted to find the strengths and weaknesses of the market set up. To find out what worked well and what needed to change.
The study also looked at the potential to develop a long-term sustainable farmers’ market.
Temple said the findings were quite positive in this area.
“There seems to be a lot of potential because for one there’s a lot of interest and demand for local products, so a lot of farmers are experiencing quite a bit of interest in their things.”
Temple also said Corner Brook and the surrounding region has a substantial population which could support a market.
“And there’s quite a few organizations and organizational capacity in this region that could potentially support a market if everybody pooled their resources,” she said.
She said what happens now depends on the interest of the community.
“So if there are organizations or individuals interested in seeing this happen they need to come together and say let’s pool our resources, let’s hire somebody to do some initial groundwork and see if we can make it a reality.”
Temple doesn’t see the Western Environment spearheading the initiative, but said it would be important for it to be involved given its experience in running a market.