We are lucky, here in Kinsale, to still have a Farmers Market every Wednesday. Now most towns have a farmers market at this stage so I am saying Kinsale is lucky because the county council have done their absolute damnedest to kill the market by moving them from pillar to post for the past number of years. They are back now in the central square and hopefully they will begin to grow again.
I must admit though to being in two minds about farmers markets at the moment. Out of the dozen or so stalls today there were two farmers (market gardeners), three guys who made there own stuff (chutneys, jams etc.) a fish guy, a flower guy and the rest were trying to sell me lunch.
Now, I have a small food business at the other end of town and the HSE are insisting I put in an extra two toilets (I have one) for my customers. I have 3 sinks in my kitchen and they want one more. I need a fly door inside my normal back door.
Now, these may all be valid requirements but why don't they apply to everyone? I need a fly screen on any opening and yet these guys are cooking in the open air. These guys have no water to wash things and certainly don't provide staff and customer toilets.
Now I wouldn't don't want to see extra regulations put on anyone but the playing pitch is not level right now. I'd love to see farmers markets heading to self regulation with one requirement - you must grow your produce, make your produce or catch your produce.
Am I getting too precious?