OK. It’s like this. Last year, to our complete disbelief, we won Outstanding Farmers’ Market for 2014 at the annual delicious. Magazine Produce Awards. It floored us, but we recovered quickly and realised that what we are doing is not only making a difference, but people were taking notice and watching what we did. We started to take ourselves a little more seriously.
When nominations rolled around this year, we knew we had a good chance at being a finalist again and were satisfied when we achieved that goal. But never for a moment did we think we would win two years in a row, in spite of our brash confidence.
But we did.
We’ll write more about this achievement later. Right now, it’s the night of the awards and it’s late. Until then, here’s the speech I gave when I accepted the award… all right, yes… we honestly didn’t think we would win, but after the fumbling blur of last year’s acceptance speech, we decided to have something prepared.
Thank you to the judges and delicious. Magazine for choosing our market for this wonderful award, for the second year in a row.
It is such an honour to be chosen again, especially being in the company of the Launceston Harvest Market and the Albany Farmers Market. We were happy just to be a finalist again, but this is amazing.
While publications like delicious. and this awards night recognise the elite of Australian food production — and rightly so — we at the SAGE Farmers Market don’t consider ourselves “gourmet”.
The produce might be amazing, but it’s really about rebuilding our local food system. It should be completely normal and everyday.
We believe farmers markets are not there to attract tourists. They are about jobs and community. They are a crucible for new growers, new products and new ideas.
It is my privilege to accept this award on behalf of our farmers, growers, producers and customers.
Or something like that. I embellished a bit. I think I might have even given a fist pump. People cheered.
There we were, Stuart Whitelaw (SFM Committee Chairman) and I, standing under the sails of the Bennelong Restaurant at the Opera House, while several producers approached to congratulate us and express their gratitude for the essential role of farmers markets in sustaining their livelihoods. People we’d never met sought us out to say thanks for the words I spoke (that we wrote) to the people in that space. It brought home with some emphasis, that what we are doing matters.
To our stall holders, to the committee members, to our customers… thank you. The blurry photo accompanying this article is my viewpoint from the podium as I accepted the award. It was a spur of the moment act and it’s a dodgy photo as a result, but I wished everyone could share this experience and this seemed like a good way to do that. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a snap.
See you tomorrow at 3pm.