VFMA Blog Posts



This weekend long-term VFMA accredited stallholder, Barrow Olives is thrilled to be doing their second Essendon Farmers’ Market.

It’s always fun to see what happens behind the scenes so we’ll be profiling some producers from time to time on here.

It’s the time for new season olive oil so we’re focusing on our wonderful olive producers.

Let’s take a closer look at Barrow Olives and their practices.

Who are they?

Graham and Monica started Barrow Olives in 1993 with the purchase of a grove of 840 Verdale olive trees that were planted in the 1950s. The grove is in Vinifera, near Swan Hill and was restored using trickle irrigation and organic fertilisers.

To ensure the highest quality oil, the olives are processed on site within 25 hours of harvest, in a temperature controlled environment.

Barrow Olives grow, harvest, process and produce Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, pressed flavoured oils and table olives.

Oils

Their flavoured oils are produced using the “fused” or “agrumato” method where, to obtain maximum natural flavour, local whole fruit (lemon, lime, mandarin for example) is crushed with their olives prior to the oil extraction so the natural oils of the fruit, garlic or chilli is extracted along with the olive oil.

This method produces a more aromatic, naturally blended oil.  Come September this year they will have their lemon and chilli pressed oils available at accredited farmers’ markets, to go along with their current-season bottled garlic, lime and mandarin pressed oils.

Innovative Eco Packaging

With an interest in their environmental impact, Barrow Olives have a new concept in packaging - refillable stainless steel vacuum flasks. As well as being sustainable this container protects the oil from heat and light and can be brought back and swapped for a new full one.

Go and have a chat and a tasting with Barrow Olives at the Essendon Farmers’ Market this Saturday August 12. They are more than happy to answer any questions.

To find out more about Barrow Olives click here

To find a VFMA accredited market near you click here or see the full list of accredited farmers’ markets on this weekend here.


Photo Credit: Kate Healy, The Courier

Accredited Farmers’ Markets

What’s the main difference between accredited farmers’ markets and other "farmers’" markets?  The VFMA accreditation program.

Accredited farmers’ markets are where farmers sell directly to their customers, a place not compromised by resellers. Customers can enjoy listening to the stories of how their broccoli has been carefully grown or exactly what feed the farmer’s animals have ingested. Farmers and makers impart their wisdom of their farming and producing practices to willing customers. This is where you get the authentic farmers’ market experience.

Customers can also buy fresh locally grown produce and value added products from stall holders that receive full economic credit for their contributions to the place.

VFMA accredited stallholders grow or raise produce in Victoria or with 100kms of the state boarder. There are also makers who are accredited by sourcing a high percentage of their primary ingredients from within Victoria.

One way of monitoring this high level of standard is through the VFMA accreditation program.

The program was specifically designed to protect the authenticity of farmers’ markets and was launched in 2011.

Our Market Day Inspectors do an assessment of each accredited market and stall holder within those markets in a process approved by the ACCC.

In early July we had one of our three Market Day Inspectors head out to Clunes Farmers Market for their annual accreditation visit, and she happily made the local Advocate newspaper.

So look out for those accredited farmers’ markets, you know they are the real deal.

To see this article click here

To find accredited markets near you this weekend click here