Posts Tagged ‘Farm Direct community markets’


July 16, 2016

Farm direct Salisbury “merits argument”


market and some cars, x trail 050

“Farm Direct community markets have been successfully operating in the Salisbury area for well over 3 years”.

The markets huge success is evidence in its community support and by how well it is supported by the Salisbury small business community, this is exaggerated by the very fact upon relocation to our new site at the Old Spot hotel, our old location behind PALS liqueur has been able to also rebuild and attract continued support.

In the Salisbury area alone, this represents hundreds of local jobs and increased employment opportunities, while delivering support services for a variety of local small businesses.

The recent legal fight to undermine our market and its development approvals, has been trade and competition based and nothing to do with development issues or safety concerns. Development law was never written with the intention to undermine competition, but rather to ensure any change of use is in line with community expectations, and Farm Direct has the majority support of the local community.

Our recently approved development application as “Merit use” ought not to be overlooked, as Community support is the founding basis of the word “merit” in development law and planning.

Farm Direct has a successful track record in the Salisbury area for over 3 years, and have proven our ability to operate on the current site without any adverse effect to the location or surrounding area. In fact we leave no lasting imprint on the site or the local environment at all.

The fact that development law and planning has overlooked stalls, markets and fetes in their definitions, allowing the recent redefining to include a stall in the definition of the word shop, is due to the fact community events were never considered developments, but rather events, events of a regular basis, have been a part of the city of Salisbury history since its inception.

The location of Farm Directs present Salisbury Height’s Market at the Old Spot hotel is on private land, land that’s primary use is retail based, the zoning of “Open Space” is based more on the adjacent river and walk ways/trails, than the area built to have its primary use to be that of a car park for retail and hotel trading.

Before I touch on the merits of our application in an area presently zoned “Open Space” now we are considered non-complying, I would like to compare the merit of our application with the city of Salisbury’s planning objectives.

Salisbury City has a range or initiatives that drive its development planning agenda, these are based around a range of ideals that work in with the State’s current planning objectives, they include;

Salisbury – Sustainable Futures – Sustainable Futures is a local response to current and future needs of the Salisbury community. It seeks to address the unique challenges of Salisbury by developing and benefiting from a range of opportunities and partnerships.

Farm Direct offers a range of opportunities for the North, that interact well with every aspect of Salisbury’s future and current objectives, through job creation, environmental benefits, health and exercise, affordable access to fresh local produce, innovation in primary production, attracting community participation and helping bring more income to the city.

Farm Direct not only leaves the area it uses clean, we also ensure we remove litter from the surrounding trails and river banks.


Key Direction (1) Shaping Our Future – Develop our City as prosperous and progressive by attracting and sustaining increased business investment and by providing accessible learning opportunities to grow and support a skilled workforce.

Farm Direct community market helps employ over 100 people directly and as we grow, so does the employment opportunities, especially as an avenue to support and nurture new small and micro business opportunities in the area.


Key Direction 2: Sustaining Our Environment – Become a Sustainable City in which its residents and businesses embrace sustainability best practices as part of their day-to-day lives and activities.

Farm Directs stall holders, are growing and producing to suit customer demand, helping alleviate waste, we operate in an environmentally sustainable manner, and any excess produce is used to help feed the most vulnerable in our community.


Key Direction 3: Salisbury the Living City – Maintain a strong and vibrant community by providing safe and supportive environments that promote opportunity, healthy and creative lifestyles.

Farm Direct promotes healthy lifestyles, by getting the local community out of their homes, walking around our market area and meeting their neighbours. We promote using the local open spaces, and eating healthy by promoting and offering local fresh affordable produce to the Salisbury community.

We utilising local cooking demonstrations, involve the local schools and community groups at our Midweek markets, and encouraging community participation.


Key Direction (4) Salisbury Success – Remain a high performing and innovative organisation that strives to achieve excellence in every area

Community and Farmers markets are a sought after community asset by most suburban and regional councils, most present locations where markets like ours operate are in similar if not the same zoning that Farm Direct presently operate.

A similar market to ours has just been complied in the Gawler Township, located in a carpark on “open space” zoning, in that case, the council themselves are in partnership with the market, offering free land use, secure contracts and investing over $60,000 of local rate payer’s moneys a year ensuring their market has the best facilities and marketing.

Farm Direct offers all the same benefits without any costs to the Salisbury council or there rate payers, offering excellence in our operations and facilities, and assisting in ensuring the supply of fresh affordable produce to those rate payers living on or below the poverty line.

Farm Direct community markets looks forward to assisting the Salisbury community and the council in its future directives at every level.


Salisbury’s Policy & Planning Stream (2)

Your policy; “Health and Wellbeing Based on the premise that wellbeing covers physical, emotional and financial aspects of life, encompasses social integration, respect for diversity, community participation and a safe, vibrant and creative environment.”

Farm Direct fulfils all the aims of this initiative, assisting in financial assistance to those on limited budgets, the promotion of social integration and community participation, we promote diversity through offering produce from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, in a vibrant and creative environment. This clearly supports our original merit based application, and fulfils the merits required to be considered an acceptable form of any non-complying application process for the proposed location.


Goal 2.3 – Health and Nutrition “City of Salisbury”

Your position; There is increasing awareness of the importance of primary health measures, nutrition education and access to affordable healthy food – plus regular physical exercise – to offset preventable conditions such as obesity.

While this is an issue across communities, there is a need to ensure that people experiencing financial disadvantage – plus those who have not had the benefit of health and nutrition education – have the opportunity to learn about and access ‘healthy’ food and health behaviours (such as exercise).

There is the opportunity to provide these opportunities to children and families via schools, community centres, sporting groups, recreation centres and other community facilities.

It is here I believe Farm Direct is the best initiative in the city of Salisbury to fulfil these criteria from a single bi weekly event, with any added cost to the city and its rate payers.

  1. We work with local schools to provide opportunities for them to further their education relating to healthy eating
  2. We offer excellent facilities to promote family and community activities, by getting family’s to come to our market do their shopping as a family and embrace the local parks, walking trails and play equipment
  3. Farm Direct offers free cooking classes, tasting, and healthy eating behaviour.
  4. We provide access to affordable healthy produce, and promote healthy eating in general.
  5. We get regular feedback both on site and on line from our customers that support these statements, from feeling healthier, losing weight, and even more so seeing their children embracing healthy food over fast food and processed sugars.


Farm Directs strategy is to offer assistance and support to local small business and primary production, while promoting healthy eating and sustainability.

  1. Support the health and safety of the community.
  2. Ensure the services and infrastructure we provide meet community needs.
  3. Facilitate information and communication opportunities.
  4. Ensure local community resources are accessible to every sector of the community.
  5. Promote increased civic participation in community and Council activities.
  6. Identify and actively support and promote the recreation and leisure needs of the community.
  7. Enhance learning and employment opportunities across our community.
  8. Strengthen and unite the local community.



THE PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL FOR “OPEN SPACE AND RECREATIONAL AREAS, includes several sections that support our present market model;

I have highlighted in bold where we directly adhere to the current “Open Space” zoning regulations.

Farm Direct leaves a clean foot print; we account for a small minority use of the land, and fulfil a majority of the directives driving present development planning.

2 (a) Facilitate a range of formal and informal recreation activities

(b) Provide for the movement of pedestrians and cyclists

3 Open space should be designed to incorporate:

(a) pedestrian, cycle linkages to other open spaces, centres, schools and public transport nodes

(b) park furniture, shaded areas and resting places to enhance pedestrian comfort

(c) safe crossing points where pedestrian routes intersect the road network

(h) Opportunities to be active and participate in physical activity

  1. Buildings in open space, including structures and associated car parking areas, should be designed, located and of a scale that is unobtrusive and does not detract from the desired open space character.

11 Development in open space should:

(a) Be clustered where practical to ensure that the majority of the site remains open

13 Landscaping associated with open space and recreation areas should:

(a) Not compromise the drainage function of any drainage channel

(b) Provide shade and windbreaks along cyclist and pedestrian routes, around picnic and barbecue

areas and seating, and in car parking areas

(d) Enhance the visual amenity of the area and complement existing buildings

(e) Be designed and selected to minimise maintenance costs

14 Development of recreational activities in areas not zoned for that purpose should be compatible with surrounding activities.

15 Recreation facilities development should be sited and designed to minimise negative impacts on the amenity of the locality.




Objective 1.2 Build a local community that is proud of Salisbury

Objective 1.4 Create a vibrant and active, event-filled Council area

Objective 2.1 Physical and social infrastructure to match population growth

Objective 2.5 Manage growth through the real connection of people and places

Objective 2.6 Local economic activity to create local job opportunities and generate increased local wealth

Objective 3.7 Create a safe, community environment

Objective 5.1 Support and encourage community teamwork

Objective 5.4 Create and support community partnerships that contribute to the

Farm Direct is an asset to the City of Salisbury, a draw card that attracts many into the Salisbury area and compliments the many innovative directives of its host city.

If the only objections are those of a market competitive nature, there is no reason to deny the development application based on the markets merits.

Farm Direct is well supported by the local community, it is in line with council and state government initiatives and brings people into the area, and the community together.

Mark Aldridge


Photos below are of the Market during trading, and show our Wednesday market entertaining local school children in an attempt to educate on healthy eating.



FARM DIRECT Community markets final compliance notes “Salisbury”

June 21, 2015


Attention; George Pantelos


Salisbury council Planning “Farm Direct Community Markets” 361/935/2015/38


The Development Act of 1993 is an Act to provide for planning and regulate development in the State; to regulate the use and management of land and buildings, and the design and construction of buildings; to make provision for the maintenance and conservation of land and buildings where appropriate; and for other purposes.


Representations relating to development plans, or change of use, ought to there for relate appropriately to the intention of the legislation.


When we go over the representations lodged and in particular those wishing to be heard on the matter, we find very little if any comments/representations that apply to the development/change of use application before the council.


Issues of retail competition and trade are not covered by the Act, so are there for not intended to be accessed in any application for development approvals, even more so in the case of minor change of use applications.


Important issues like traffic control and traffic and pedestrian movement, internally or outside any development or change of use applications are best determined by professionals like the dedicated department of transport and infrastructure, if would be inappropriate to expect a green grocer to dictate to the authorities such issues.


In 2 of the representations filed in relation to Farm Directs development applications, by both Nghia Van Lam and Ben Johnston, several issues are raised, none of which are either relevant to the application before the council, others are not a true representation of the circumstances.


It is clear than in both circumstances the representations are not relevant to the development applications, so are invalid under the legislation, in each respect the council would have better dealt with these using its own discretionary powers awarded to it be the Act, if said powers were able to be applied.


“I note council have accessed these representations as “Valid” in their own hand writing, as the party affected, I find it hard to believe such an assessment is in line with the Development Act.


Considering this fact, one would have to consider that the City of Salisbury feel they have the implied power to restrict trade and consumer choice in the retail trade, if that be the case, I would appreciate some direction as to from where those powers are awarded.”


If we take both of these representations and remove comments of a personal nature, unfounded comments like “Food requirements not being met” and “They have opened 2 markets in the area” reasons relating to competition and trade, or what produce is being sold and where it is being sourced, which are all irrelevant to the application before the council, it leaves no content worthy of debate by any development panel.


Representations must be based on the criteria set by the Act, none of the representations asking to be heard achieve that, so council indeed ought to have the legal ability to proceed with finalising our application.


Council must not lose sight of the basic facts, Farm Direct has operated in the area for nearly 3 years, without any issue of compliance, so a relocation application that asks only for a change of use approval, ought not raise any debate relating to trade or issues of a competitive nature, let alone Farm Directs internal management or adherence to local food legislation.


If legislation indeed took into account issues of trading restrictions, it is Farm Directs position such issues would be determined by the local consumers, and we believe they have voted in our favour.


The Act, only allows for debate relating to the developments effect on adjoining properties, the City of Salisbury development plan, traffic flow and internal vehicle and pedestrian movement, along with compliance with Heritage SA and DPTIs awarded interests.


We believe we have met all those guidelines and if council were not being hindered by invalid representations, that our application for change of use would pass council scrutiny.


I will reply to each representation lodged for further clarity;


  1. Folland; the matters raised in this statement of representation relate to pathways on council land, that MAY require upgrades due to increased traffic (has not asked to be heard)


Farm Direct has little to no control of the way in which the public enjoy council facilities, should more people start to use a council facility; this issue would be outside the scope of our application to the council.


Farm Direct is happy to monitor this issue an collate feedback from its customers and work with the council in respect to upkeep.


  1. Nghia Van Lam “Salisbury Fruit Bowl”; this representations attempts to raise a variety of concerns which can be listed as such (has asked to be heard);


  1. Unfair to local business (irrelevant to the application)
  2. Farm direct have 2 markets Parafield/Salisbury (incorrect and untrue) (irrelevant to the application)
  3. Parafield opened 1 year ago (incorrect and untrue) (irrelevant to the application)
  4. Farm Direct does not support local farmers (Incorrect and untrue) (irrelevant to the application)
  5. Farm Direct lie’s to the public (slander) (irrelevant to the application)
  6. 70-80% of product sold is from the Adelaide produce market (irrelevant to the application) (Incorrect and untrue)
  7. Farm Direct is a scam (slander) (irrelevant to the application)


Not one of these statements is backed by evidence, none of them are relevant to the development application and Farm Direct can prove with evidence that not one of these statements is true.


Farm Direct opened it original market in Parafield in October 2012, the market was relocated only 5 weeks ago to the Old Spot hotel, should another market have opened on our old site is both out-side development issues and or the control of Farm Direct.


Unfair to local business, relates to a perceived drop in sales, which could be applied to our ability to perform better in the food industry, again outside development planning legislation, which does not cater for trade restrictions of any kind.


Farm Direct is not a scam, does not lie to its customers and other issues raised, are best described as liable, and relate in no way to the application before the council.


  1. Ben Johnston “George & Bens Fresh food market”; raises a variety of concerns of a similar nature (has asked to be heard);


  1. It is not a farmers market (Farm Direct is not a farmers market) (irrelevant to the application)
  2. Farm Direct buys from Adelaide produce market (irrelevant to the application)
  3. Farm direct are retailers (irrelevant to the application)
  4. There is not enough parking.
  5. There is not proper structure (Incorrect and untrue) (irrelevant to the application)
  6. Council food and safety guidelines are not being met (Incorrect and untrue)
  7. Farm Direct has affected his business (irrelevant to the application)
  8. Farm Direct would hurt employment (Incorrect and untrue) (irrelevant to the application)
  9. Traffic is spilling onto Main North road (incorrect and untrue)


None of the issues raised relate to development planning, other than the issue of traffic spilling onto Main North road, so I will address that issue first, during the first 5 weeks of operation at the Old Spot, never once has traffic spilled over onto Main North road.


The department of transport DPTI, have both studied and attended the markets to check on this issue and have reported nothing that supports this statement, and have since supported the markets compliance.


Each week from the first day of trading we have modified traffic flows within the site parking area to ensure it creates no adverse spillage onto Main North road, once overflow parking is finalised and we can start operating on Wednesdays, vehicle flow on site will be made even easier, but even during our busiest times we have avoided any interruption to traffic on the Main north road.


All the other statements made are incorrect and without substance and appear to relate to issues of commerce, and have no impact on Farm Directs development planning applications, and Farm Direct can supply evidence that supports our position.


Farm Direct has operated for nearly 3 years, in which time both Parafield Airport limited and the Salisbury council have regularly carried out on site and compliance inspections, without any concerns being raised, all stall holders and the market management comply with all statutory requirements and business registrations, and always have.


  1. Leo and Chris; Fully support the market (has not asked to be heard)


  1. Teresa Evans; Raises the only concerns relating to our application before the council, all of which have been supported or adopted by our application. (has not asked to be heard)


DPTI and Farm Direct have agreed to certain traffic flow issues raised by Mrs/Miss Evans, so the application covers this representation.


  1. Anthony and Francesca Sorrenti; Fully support the market (has asked to be heard)


Their representation relates to parking on Brisbane drive, and its impact on local traffic.


Farm Direct has taken photos of the street for two weeks on an hourly basis, 9.00 am, 10.00 am and 11.00 am during market operations, and found no parking issues that are the result of the markets operation.


Farm Direct does not oppose signage to restrict parking during the operation times of the market, however has been unable to confirm any issue exists, as aforementioned, we note that the street in question is a long way from the market and people may be utilising it to access the adjacent park.




Farm Direct can see no reason covered by any of the lodged representations that can limit the ability of the council to provide final planning consents, within the scope of the development legislation and its applications to planning procedures.




Traffic Management; Farm Direct concurs with the assessment of DPTI and will comply with their directions.


Insurances; Farm Direct as site managers have public liability already in place, and ensures all stall holders operating on the site are also covered by appropriate insurances.


Control of Waste; Each stall holders is responsible for the removal of waste from the site, and Farm Direct staff ensure customer bins are provided and waste is removed, and are contracted to ensure the site is maintained.


Wastewater; All water used on site (minimal) used for cleaning or hand washing is collected and disposed of, off site, as per health and safety guidelines.


Food Business Notification; All stall holders are contracted to have all food accreditation, in line with the Food Safety Standards, and most if not all of our stall holders were recently inspected by your council.



Mark M Aldridge

Founder “Farm Direct community markets”






Renato Castello “Journalist of the Sunday Mail”

June 14, 2015

To Renato Castello “Journalist of the Sunday Mail”

Regarding your article; “Pop up road stalls anger Adelaide Green grocers”.

Farm Direct markets has been trading in the Salisbury area now for nearly 3 years, the move to the new location at Salisbury was to improve our facilities, not to open a new market, so I find it hard to understand why the article in question was written.

The two objectors, both frequent markets to clear their stock, but I suppose this fact was never considered, neither were the facts explained to you in our conversation, I find it hard to even believe you were listening to what I had to say, do please never call me again.

Farm Direct is a registered business that pays rent, taxes and insurances, as do all of its stall holders, you already knew all this when you wrote the article, because I told you.

The smaller farms supported by our markets are doing it hard, they also have families, staff, rents, insurances, mortgages, utilities and taxes to pay, and since when was there GST on food stuffs, and if there was, I am sure they would also have to cough up.

How you have called us a pop up market after nearly 3 years of regular trade two days a week, is beyond my comprehension, let alone the article being presented in such a way as to undermine our great markets and what they are trying to achieve.

I could be led to believe you are an Australian with children, and would have hoped our fight to ensure they will have access to fresh local produce into the future, would be one you and your editor might just respect.

I note Andrew Dimasi in the article says “We are over-shopped here and we’ve got Aldi coming,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of product and at the end of the day it’s the grower who suffers, they won’t be able to get enough for their product.”

I fail to see how closing a market that allows the farmers and producers to get a fair price for their produce, will benefit the growers, I doubt Aldi are going to pay them more than they receive from dealing direct with their customers.

Oh yes, Dimasi wants to be the middle man in the deal, further eroding the farmers income, great person to interview on Farmers behalf.

Farm Direct took years to build by volunteers that did not wish to see Australia become a net food importer, and has always been all about support of our farmers and producers, to take that way, would be a swift kick in the farmers direction they can ill afford.

To even consider such a great market would be shut by the self-interest of two small on sellers, who appear to have forgotten just how many people rely on their employ as a result of the market would be a travesty.

The markets huge success clearly shows how the local community have voted, and the fact we have assisted in new farms being planted where the trend is the closure of Australian farms, might have seen you side with us in your article, or at least les bias.

I for one would like to see a little more balanced reporting on issues like this in the future.

Next time you even consider doing an article that affects so many lives, just maybe speak with the real stakeholders, the stall holders themselves, or even try a few of our thousands of supportive customers.

You have all but accused our many stall holders, over 100 in total of being tax dodgers, or simply dodgy traders, and that is not the case I can assure you. They are damn hard working honest people that simply wish to pay their overheads, keep their homes and farms and put food on the table.

As Market management I can prove every single one of them is fully compliant in every respect, but judging by the quality of your journalistic skills, I doubt you would let the facts get in the way of your story.

I would remind you of a speech from a man you might know, he was once considered the “Dean” of your profession “John Swinton” of the New York times, the speech was made at his retirement dinner, but I doubt you will have bothered to read past the first time I questioned your motives.

Mark Aldridge

Founder of Farm Direct community markets

FARM DIRECT Community markets MOVES from parafield to SALISBURY

June 11, 2015

“To grow any good business, one must embrace change”




Having dealt with development planning and compliance issues for markets over the past few years, I want to clear up a few of the things that forced the move of the markets from Parafield to the new upgraded facilities at the Old Spot Hotel Parafield.

There are certain requirements expected of food markets, access to toilets from the advertised opening times, and during set up times, appropriate insurances, adequate parking and traffic control, disabled access, safe ground cover, food safety etc etc.

Loose rubble, pooling water, muddy car parks are issues that would not pass scrutiny under development planning and food safety legislation, let alone the resulting traffic congestion and the dangers associated with that. New vehicle access cut ins were never finished, neither was the car parking or the ground cover, we were not even afforded rubbish removal.

“All these issues would be demanded under development planning standards and indeed were demanded by Parafield Airport Limited.”

I brokered the deal for the old Parafield site with the Airport Management, with the understanding the site would be brought up to scratch by the land owners in a timely manner. We were paying top dollar, for what was a vacant unused piece of land with no facilities, so I had every right to demand the development promises were met and to ensure the safety of both stall holders and customers, my job as the founder.

There were a host of other issues that required addressing,like toilet access and food hygiene, but for the sake of an overview, I will leave those issue to the authorities.

The old site is in breach of development planning and would have no chance in hell of passing the usual council guidelines, it is partly my fault the approvals were issued before compliance was met, because I wanted the market to survive. I did that with the understanding the many issues would be sorted by the site lease holders.

The management team, worked even harder to bring in money for the land owners so they could cover the costs of the works needed, not by increasing stall holders fee’s but by donating our time as volunteers, with Mark the founder covering marketing costs out of his own pockets.

When the land owners continued to ignore my pleas, in the best interests of the stall holders, our customers and the public in general, I brokered a deal for a better location, lower rental, better facilities, power, parking upgrades and the like, and I make no apologies for my actions.

We have had a few uninformed people question why we made the decision to move on-line even some of the stall holders I have supported for years spreading untrue rumours as a result of being misled. 

We would be crucified if I ignored these issues and the market was shut down, or some one was seriously injured, when the second person was taken to hospital after a fall, The founder acted quickly and decisively finding a great location and made the move.

Any market opened on the old site, will have very little chance competing on a level playing field unless it attends to the aforementioned issues. Our management team and our volunteers, have no other motives other than protecting the best interests of our stall holders and our customers, we are not driven by self-interest or financial gain.

Our new market opened on the 23 rd at the Old Spot hotel with appropriate approvals and insurances; we are now larger than ever before with room to expand, increased parking, better facilities, bitumen as ground cover, and correct services one ought to expect from a professional market operation.

A majority of our Parafield stall holders moved with us, and maintained all the best farms, adding many more local producers, at the same time lowering the wholesale content of our market.

Rumours that very few stall holders have moved with us, are being used to undermine our good name, and convince stall holders to move to the old site, which says more about those spreading them, than any concept of honesty..

Those we did not opt to bring with us, for a variety of reasons including continued opposition to our Australian made and grown rule or as a result of regular warnings from food authorities, have now set up on our old site, which is great for the general public’s free choice, as long as they are well aware Farm Direct is no longer interested in managing the site while it refuses to ensure public safety concerns or our motto of only allowing fresh Australian produce

Farm Fresh Parafield, is not a registered business and at the stage of writing this article, is neither insured nor compliant, the wholesalers on site have already started offering imported produce for sale.

Farm Direct will stick to speaking the truth, working in an honest and transparent manner as we always have, we will open with a full market of experienced operators, and so many familiar faces. We will continue doing what we always have, as everyone who attends will see, the only thing this spit has changed is we will only open at 80% capacity, not because we lack stall holders to fill the market to capacity, but because the split will temporary affect our customer base, and I won’t have that adversely affecting my growers.

With that point in mind, we will open at the same size as the old site, and build to a larger market than ever before over the first few weeks.

Parafield’s old site is now in the past, and I wish to leave it there, it is onward and upward for Farm Direct from here, and we will use our skills to open even more markets over the next few months, and I am sure all our farmers and producers as well as our customers will be impressed with our growth, because we will remain true to our core values every step of the way

We currently have approvals to operate in Marden, Blake’s-Crossing and have applications in for several other locations.

Australian only fresh produce at affordable prices.