We are lucky enough to enjoy over 40 Farmers Markets every week in NZ. And now there is a chance for you to have your say on which one you think is the best with the first ever Taste Farmers Markets Awards.

In a time of debate over high-salt, high-fat foods, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, genetic engineering, food miles and food additives, it’s good to know that some foods remain the same – fresh, seasonal and affordable local produce.

The inaugural Taste Farmers’ Market Awards 2011 have been launched to unearth the finest, freshest, most authentic food that offers value for money.

The general public is encouraged to vote for their local farmers’ market in the 2011 Awards by visiting www.tastefarmersmarkets.org.nz. A trip for two to Singapore is up for grabs for one lucky voter to explore Singapore’s farmers’ market and join in cooking classes.

“Everyone loves the taste of fresh produce, particularly when it has been grown close to home.  Farmers’ markets are all about celebrating seasonal, local produce that enlivens our senses, and our cooking,” says Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Farmers’ Market New Zealand Association.

“With the price of food on the rise, farmers’ markets and their affordability are growing in popularity. There has been a real shift in the attitude of consumers – New Zealanders want to know what is in their food and how it’s grown,” he says.

The Taste Farmers’ Markets Awards 2011 put the spotlight on the very best markets from around the country and encourage communities to support their local producers.

Categories at the Taste Farmers’ Markets Awards 2011 include:

·     Farmers’ Market of the Year Award 2011 (as voted by consumers)

·     Regional Farmers’ Market Area of New Zealand

·     Tastiest Food Producer from the Dairy

·     Tastiest Food Producer from the Paddock

·     Freshest Producer from the Sea

·     Best Food Producer from the Kitchen Bench

·     Supreme Farmers’ Market Photo or Video

·     Farmers’ Market Manager of the Year (as voted by stallholders)

·     Golden Hoe Award – Best Speaker or Presentation on Farmers’ Markets

·     Hungriest Media Localvore

There are more than 40 farmers’ markets from all corners of New Zealand who have registered, so make sure you vote for your favourite farmers’ market by visiting http://www.tastefarmersmarkets.org.nz/ and go in the draw to win a trip to Singapore.

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