Farmers' markets go digital

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The traditional farmers' market is enjoying a renaissance in Australian towns and even cities. As we become more aware of where our food comes from and how lucky we are to have so much fresh produce close at hand, the artisan food market has boomed.

Committed foodie Carla Penn realised that while many of us love farmers' markets and gourmet produce, not everyone either lives near a market or has the time to visit one regularly. This led her to establish eFarmersMarket, a digital platform where you can get a great selection of Australian artisan products delivered to your door.

Tell us a little bit about eFarmersMarket. is an online marketplace where Australians can purchase food & drinks from regional artisan producers across Australia, with the convenience of one box delivery for a flat rate of $13. Instead of scouring the country in search of the finest food and drinks we have done this for you by hand-picking every product. Each product was made with love in small batches by our artisan producers, many source ingredients from their own farm, town or region.

Where do you source your products from?

The products are sourced from the finest food regions across Australia including the Barossa, Orange, Manjimup, Hobart and Maleny to name a few.

What inspired you to found eFarmersMarket?

My passion for regionally produced artisan food & drinks. I wanted to share the farmers' market experience with all of Australia and bringing the experience online seemed the ideal way. Many Australians do not have the time or the means to visit farmers' markets and rather purchase imported and mass produced food in the name of convenience, sacrificing taste.

Do you have a top selling product at the moment?

Fare Gourmet's fabulous Triple Chocolate Brownie. They are superbly dense, moist and full of real chocolate.

Do you have any favourite products yourself?

Of course, many of the products on the site were introduced because they were personal favourites of mine that I had found on regional visits across Australia. Once I came home I found it difficult to almost impossible to access these products again. [I love] Matchett Productions Greek Goddess Salad Dressing, Fare Gourmet Caramel Pecan Brownie (exclusive to eFarmersMarket), Broken Nose Vanilla Tea, Farmer Jo Burnt Fig and Almond Muesli, the list could go on and on...

Many people like to go to the markets to source fresh produce - what are the main benefits of shopping online instead?

The benefits of shopping online is that you have a wider reach and you are not restricted by your geographic location. By buying from eFarmersMarket you are buying the best in season and you are reducing your food miles. The majority of food products in the supermarket are imported and the products spend months on the ship and months in the supermarkets' warehouses. Our producers source their ingredients locally and produce on a small scale and often the product was made a week of two before we ordered. A great example is Hills of Byron coffee who roast their coffee to order to ensure freshness.

What are your top three gift ideas from eFarmersMarket?

A firm favourite with dads are our chilli products especially from Country Harvest and Byron Bay Chilli Co.
For mums without a doubt the most popular is our Sophisticated Sweet Tooth Gift Box ($55). For friends and colleagues the Fare Gourmet Brownie range and Gumnut Biscuits are always a hit!

Do you personally think that we need to support Australian farmers and producers more?

Yes, this is very important to me personally when I am shopping. Buying local means supporting our economy and creating employment, it is also a plus for the environment with reduced food miles. We often forget how important it is when conveniently shopping at the supermarket and I often remind people that 85 per cent of the products in the average Australian grocery trolley are either imported or made by foreign owned companies. To put this in context 98 per cent of products in the Japanese grocery trolley are Japanese made and owned. If we all spent an additional $25 a week on 100 per cent Australian owned and made goods we would reduce our foreign debt by $25 billion a year.

Spreets deal: Gourmet eFarmers Market Australian Made Artisan Food Hamper delivered for just $79! Worth $162! Quality products beautifully wrapped in a woven gift basket!

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