The Stephenville town council is looking at the development of a farmers’ market, but producers want to know a little more before they would support it.
Ernest Romain, who operates Romain’s Farm in Port au Port East with his brother, Walter Romain, said he would first like to see what they have in mind before making any commitments.
The Town of Stephenville will be issuing an expression of interest to identify a third-party entity/individual to develop Stephenville’s farmers’ market.
Mayor Tom Rose said it would be to create a higher demand for people interested in farming, and he sees it as a good step for a regional centre like Stephenville to draw people into the town.
Romain said in theory in could be a good place to sell vegetables and could help some farmers, but first he’d have to see its location and what is planned.
In addition to having their own market on their farm in Port au Port East, Romain’s Farm sells to private businesses, including Indian Head Co-op, Coleman’s Grocery and Western Wholesalers.
Romain said to have his produce at a farmers’ market, other than his own, could possibly place him in a conflict, so he would first have to find out what the farmers’ market is all about and the product it would carry.
Wade Alley of Lochleven Slaughterhouse in Bay St. George South said a farmers’ market in Stephenville could be a good idea, depending on how it is operated.
“I could assure them I could put in quite a lot of meat product, from lamb to beef to pork,” he said.
Alley said in addition to pork chops, pork roast, beef roast, beef steak and lamb chops, he is into secondary processing with products such as sausages, ground meat, patties and even salt beef, which is going over well.
“I think a farmers’ market is a wonderful idea and if anyone is interested in getting my input, I’d certainly be available for it,” he said.
Currently he sells product out of his building in Lochleven and said it would be good to see a market in Stephenville, as the closest now is Riverbrook Farmers’ Market in Corner Brook, which is primarily for vegetables.