Making progress on food markets

A jar of homemade marmalade or pickle on sale at a farmers’ market is not a serious threat to health but higher risk products such as home cured meats may well be and there need to be rules on what can and can’t be sold for the protection of the consumer.

Kāpiti Coast District Council, having earlier this year proposed a strict food market management regime, is reviewing its policy and consulting further with market managers, stall holders and others over the next week.

“Our aim is to work with market managers and stallholders to ensure appropriate levels of food safety are maintained without being so restrictive that traditional market produce can no longer be sold and the viability of markets is threatened,” Council’s Group Manager Assets & Services, Gary Simpson said.

“We’re planning a meeting next Wednesday for market managers followed by a meeting of Paraparaumu market stallholders on Monday July 12. And on Wednesday July 14 we’ll be meeting with the Ōtaki Women’s group and market stallholders in Ōtaki.

“Regulatory Manager, Ken Smith will hold the first two meetings. Ōtaki Community Board chair Andre Baker will host the Ōtaki meeting with the Mayor in attendance,” Mr Simpson said.

Council’s policy on food stalls at events, markets and other sites will be explained at the meetings along with the requirements of the current government legislation on the preparation and sale of food.

The Food Bill before Parliament will also be discussed including how it may affect the market food sector. “We’ll also see if some of the people attending the meetings would like to form a working party to prepare a market sector submission to Parliament on the proposed Food Bill.

“We have some proposed options for additions to our food stall policy which we’d like to discuss and we’ll be asking for feedback on those which we can include in the next report going to Council on Food Stall options.

“Consumers need to be confident in the products they buy from food stalls at events and markets but the rules need to be flexible enough to allow for some variety and innovation,” Mr Simpson said.