Official opening of the Swords Farmers Market

On the occasion of the Official Opening of Fingal Farmers Markets, North St, Swords, Co. Dublin Saturday 26th April 2008.

Minister of State, Councillors, Elected Representatives, Manager – I would like to offer a warm welcome to all of you to the Fingal Farmers Market here in Swords on the occasion of its official launch. Can I also take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to the many local producers and craftspeople whose wonderful produce is making our market such a great success.

On this busy April morning, our new market is as usual packed to capacity, proving to be more popular than ever. Since Fingal County Council first opened this market last March to provide a dedicated outlet for local producers of fruit, vegetables and artisan foods, our loyal shoppers have been steadily growing in numbers.

Swords Farmers Market is the first in a series of producers markets which Fingal County Council plans for the County. In response to Irish consumers choosing to buy more locally produced, fresh goods, especially fruits and vegetables, these markets give our local producers an outlet to meet these needs.

Developing Farmers markets in Fingal will also raise awareness of the importance of buying local produce, the benefits of healthy eating and organic farming, while also highlighting issues around GM foods.

On a personal note, it’s great to see Fingal highlight its identity as the market garden capital of Ireland. We have so many wonderful food producers in the County and with these new markets; many more artisan producers are getting a valuable opportunity to sell their high quality goods.

The Council has drawn up a set of guidelines for the Fingal Farmers Markets in conjunction with producers, and with the guidance of the Ministers office, who earlier this year launched a programme to assist Local Authorities in developing the concept.

We give preference to local producers, and where possible all produce you see here is grown, raised, caught or baked within 50km of the county boundary. Every effort is also made to provide our shoppers with a full range farm products, hand made artisan foods, local crafts and confectionary.

Swords Farmers Market, along with existing and future markets in the county will provide local shoppers with a wide choice of high quality, healthy produce to feed their families. Its great to see so many local shoppers here today and we look forward to your numbers continuing to grow into the future.

The Swords Farmers Market is located at the Junction of North Street, behind the Courthouse and will be open every Saturday from 10am to 4pm.