Associate - IndividualDirector, Melbourne Farmers Markets
As the Director of Melbourne Farmers Markets, I help run eight accredited farmers markets across Melbourne. We currently have several Victorian cheesemakers attending each market, but this isn't meeting the demand! We would love to hear from more Victorian cheese makers and dairy farmers, so please get in touch!
MFM is a not-for-profit organisation and our charter is the connection of regional and urban communities through their direct interaction at markets.
How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve been cooking since I could reach the kitchen bench, and cheese is my absolute weakness! I ran a small catering company and then became a food writer for The Age “Epicure”. Both experiences formed my determination to find a place in the industry that represented small producers and, particularly, local farmers. The disconnect between that fundamental part of the food industry and both the media and general public was increasing rapidly. I started Collingwood Children's Farm farmers market in 2002, and the rest have followed gradually
What is your favourite Australian cheese?
I'm way too diplomatic to nominate a Victorian cheese, so I'll say Pyengana Cheddar!
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?
The opportunities for the specialty cheese making industry are huge, because a growing audience is becoming more aware and committed to supporting the makers and growers of local produce. We hear it every market day; the personal exchange across the counter, rather than interpreting the marketing spiel and fine print of the big companies, is increasingly important for all. At our markets, we offer the opportunity for dairy farmers and cheesemakers themselves to be in the spotlight and take the credit for their efforts.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
Lead organisation for supporting artisan cheesemakers and steering a path of growth, character and quality into the future.