Fight on to save popular Mackay farmers market
A much-loved Mackay farmers market could potentially trade for the last time on Wednesday as it stares down the barrel of liquidation.
After six years, the Greater Whitsunday Food Network has announced its Farmers Market will cease trading as the organisation has been "unable to generate the required cashflow to continue operations".
The network says it has struggled financially over the past 18 months as a result of the coronavirus downturn.
The organisation was now working with voluntary administrator KordaMentha.
President Deb McLucas says it is disappointing to see the weekly market close as it has supported up to 25 local growers during peak season.
Owning her own farm and running a market stall, she says the event is critical for small businesses.
"I've had a lot of conversations obviously over the years, but especially in the last few days, about how important this market is to producers and others who value-add as well," Ms McLucas says.
"[For] some businesses it represents a very substantial portion of their income each week and so, this is critical, this is a very important event."
While Wednesday morning's market will be the last in its "current form", Ms McLucas says there have already been a number of ideas being brought forward about how it can keep operating.
"There are a lot of discussions going on amongst stakeholders, stall holders and others, about how we can keep the market happening," she says.
"Obviously we'll no longer have the entity that has been running it but there are lots of other ideas and thoughts about how it might continue in the future."