CLOSING: The Tenterfield Farmers and Producers Market will cease due to prolonged drought conditions.
CLOSING: The Tenterfield Farmers and Producers Market will cease due to prolonged drought conditions. Contributed

Drought claims another victim as markets cease

THE ongoing drought has claimed another victim, with the shock announcement of the closure of Tenterfield Farmers and Producers Market.

The popular market, which was held regularly during the year, announced it would be postponing the markets for the foreseeable future due to prolonged drought conditions.

A meeting was held over the weekend to discuss the effects of the drought on production systems and producers' ability to supply the markets, and it was unanimously decided that the markets will be paused until sufficient rainfall occurs.

"After supplying the markets for almost two years the stall holders deeply regret this decision but at present they simply have no choice,” the statement said.

Granite Borders Landcare established the markets along with local farmers and producers in October 2017.

"During that time the markets have developed, not only as a fantastic source of beautiful local produce, but also a great social community meeting hub which has been of paramount importance in times like this,” the statement said.

Steve Haslam, the owner of the Old Tenterfield Church which is the home of the markets, said he is passionate about the Tenterfield Farmers and Producers Markets and the positive impact it has on the community.

"The farmers' markets are very close to my heart,” Mr Haslam said.

"In the beginning I enjoyed seeing the producers and community interact. However, I never envisaged what an important social event this provided for the township which I love.”

Mr Haslam said during Saturday's meeting discussion was held amongst stallholders about expanding the markets to be held weekly when they are reinstated after the drought breaks.

He said the stallholders wish to say a "big thank you to all the community and visitors for the support and attendance over the last two years”.

"We are promising to be back soon - bigger and better than ever,” he said.