The SAGE Farmers Market is an enterprise of the community organisation Sustainable Agriculture & Gardening Eurobodalla Inc. SAGE is a not-for-profit incorporated association, run by volunteers. If you want to know more about SAGE, you can visit the website, but in a nutshell, we’re working hard to restore the local food system by supporting existing local growers, training and mentoring new growers and connecting people to them through events such as the farmers market, the Southeast Harvest, social events at the SAGE Garden and the many workshops we run throughout the year.
It’s rewarding work. Whether you turn up to help out at the odd working bee or take on a whole project, it all contributes to SAGE’s aim of creating a local food culture. There are a couple of roles in SAGE that receive a small remuneration (such as my role as the market coordinator), which reflects the workload and the commercial nature of the enterprise, but by far and away, the bulk of what SAGE does is done by volunteers.
At the pointy end of SAGE are the committees. They are what determine the direction SAGE and its enterprises take. We have a few, because there’s so much going on. Our farmers market committee (or sub-committee or working group — call it what you will) is made up of a chair, a secretary, the SAGE treasurer, another SAGE Executive Committee representative, the site coordinator and two stall holder representatives. That’s 7, which is a good size for when you need a robust discussion of an issue.
The SAGE AGM is coming up in August and at our last farmers market meeting, we decided to invite members of the public to nominate to join the market’s committee to make it an even 8 members. The Australian Farmers Market Association has outlined some guidelines for best practice and in those, it recommends having a customer representative on the market’s managing committee. So we’re putting a call out.
Are you interested in becoming part of the team of volunteers who manage the SAGE Farmers Market? Here’s a list of things to consider about the role:
- you need to be a member of SAGE (you can still apply if you’re not a member and join later)
- your primary agenda is what’s best for the market
- your key focus is in representing customers’ interests
- you understand our rules & regulations
- you have an ability to balance multiple points of view
- your approach is collaborative and cooperative
- you can exercise discretion and treat matters confidentially
- you can meet in the first week of the month during business hours
If you’d like to nominate, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your application telling us why you believe you’re suitable. You will need to be formally elected to the market committee at the SAGE AGM in late August (date to be confirmed). The current market committee will consider the nominations we receive and make our recommendation to the membership at the SAGE AGM.
Applications close Friday 21 August 2015.