Your online ethical food+beverage store

No longer is there a weekly farmers market. We are now online at

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EAT LOCAL THURSDAY on River Cottage Australia
3 May 2016 8:27 PM

The most popular TV Lifestyle show in Australia is shown each Tuesday at 8.30pm. This week the Riverina is featured w...

Where we are

EAT LOCAL THURSDAY is held at Elements at the Gardens, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens, 43 Tom Wood Drive, Turvey Park from 1130 until 5.30 each week.  Come and feast locally and meet your farmers :-)

Riverina Providore to the world!

Festing with our eyes.....
Collect your orders from Elements Restaurant, Wagga Botanic Gardens, from 3.00pm
With the end of Stage l of the EAT LOCAL MOVEMENT comes Stage ll - alive and already kicking goals!

Enter Riverina Providore - your online ethical food+beverage store, where all the produce and products from from Growers and Makers who set their own prices - this is Fair Trade!

After hearing about the plight of Victorian dairy farmers over the past few weeks and the outcries of people wanting to do something helpful, it was time to introduce Riverina Providore. 
Dairy farmers are not the only ones to endure the bastardly nastiness from milk processors; who do you think Coles was negotiating with to introduce the $1L milk?  Yep, Murray Goulburn, the very 'co-operative' that recently dropped the price per litre of milk plus made it retrospective, then offered loans to those same farmers.  This is unconscionable behaviour and is widespread in every commodity sector.

So - you want to do something to make a difference?

The most effective thing is to buy your food from your local Growers and Makers and pay the prices they ask.

Oh - but it is so difficult to find all this food and I am short of time to track it all down!

SOLUTION - your online ethical food + beverage store ....... Riverina Providore.

On 6th June, the site was operating with more than 100 items available and  the orders rolled in.
By next week, the number of products will double as suppliers from across the Riverina request their products be included in this beautiful 'store'   The site is a visual feast and inspires exploration.

Stay tuned as we continue to add content and products to Riverina Providore.....much more than just a store.

Thank you for participating in your local food economy, your LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT.

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A bitter sweet day today, the 26th May, 2016, as that was the very last weekly EAT LOCAL THURSDAY farmers market in Wagga.

What great achievements this movement has brought to the Riverina since its establishment in February 2014. Within the first 12 months, more than $1million had been spent with the dozens of Growers and Makers of chemical and gmo-free foods which, in turn, was then spent in the 16 smaller towns from where they live.

Costa Georgiadis, Ambassador for the EAT LOCAL MOVEMENT weaved his magic at the launch and hundreds of people came to meet him and buy almost every skerick of produce there that day. Costa's profile and reputation is national and he continues to mention the EAT LOCAL MOVEMENT in his travels as an example of what can be achieved.

A chance conversation with Ian McNamara (Macca) from ABC radio's Australia All Over program every Sunday resulted in Ian visiting EAT LOCAL THURSDAY. Macca talked about EAT LOCAL THURSDAY for weeks and interviewed many of the Traders with those interviews being progressively played for many weeks.

Last November, the production crew from River Cottage Australia spent almost a week touring the Riverina and their final day filming at EAT LOCAL THURSDAY farmers market. (This was a truly delightful day spent with host, Paul West, in the food van :-) River Cottage Australia is one of the most popular television programs in the country with a following in the millions.  This series commenced at the end of March with two episodes dedicated to the Riverina road trip and many Wagga people enjoyed seeing themselves on the program enjoying the delicious foods Paul created from locally grown produce. It was a blast to have the crew at Springview Eco-Farm learning about how we grow the sunshine-enriched Bush Goddess Paddock Pork and drawing yet more focus on the Riverina.

Stage ll of the EAT LOCAL MOVEMENT in the Riverina comes in the form of an online ethical foods store known as Riverina Providore, being launched on the 1st June and operable from the 6th June.  On-line shopping continues to increase in popularity and with this online ethical food store, much more produce and products from the wider Riverina can be included. 

As always, the purpose of the EAT LOCAL MOVEMENT is to provide as many trading opportunities as possible for Growers and Makers so Eaters have convenient access to the best the Riverina has to offer, and the Traders have a reliable and regular cash-flow, and, the money spent remains in OUR region.

Thank you for being part of the first stage and welcome to the next phase - what a delicious thing to be part of!


Thank you to The Daily Advertiser's editor, Daniel Johns, for having the gumption to enable conversations around the economic leakage from Wagga via the 12 supermarkets in the town. From the retail food sector alone, it is estimated there is around $265 million leaked every year and, when you include the turnovers from the 37 fast food chain brands (some with multiple outlets) plus the food service companies (Bidvest, PFD, Superior Food Services and Ferndale) the overall total could be closer to half a billion dollars leaving Wagga.

Why is this a concern?

The Riverina is regarded as the food bowl of Australia and, when you add up what is grown in this amazingly geographic and climatic diverse region, it's only marine seafood which is not grown here. Try finding branded produce from the Riverina in any supermarket, on pub and club menus, and in the 'stuff' served up in fast food chains. Around 99 per cent of all the food used in these sectors comes from elsewhere, whether Australia, or imported from overseas.

This is a concern as there is no trading within this region for the above sectors yet millions of dollars are spent on them every year. The majority of the spend goes straight out of town to corporate headquarters far, far away to provide quarterly profit figures for owners and / or shareholders.  The important question to be asked, is - where is this money spent?

One dollar can provide an enriching experience when spent in the town where it originated. Tourism and Buy Local campaigns have researched that one dollar can be spent up to six times in the one town, thus resulting in exponential value instead of a face value.

Supermarkets in Australia dominate retail food sales with 80 per cent being divided between Coles and Woolworths, 19 per cent between Aldi and Metcash and the remaining one per cent to independent and locally owned food retailers including butchers, bakers, green grocers, and some delicatessens.

Where we choose to spend our money has immediate and long-term implications for food security, employment and career opportunities, the number of food-preneurs in a town, how much primary produce can be processed / transformed into ready-to-eat food, physical and economic access and actually providing a diversity of diet as defined by the United Nations.

Some call Wagga a $2-town with a mingy mentality but i don't believe that definition.  Wagga is a wealthy town with a generous heart and soul but, sometimes being financially comfortable can lead to complacency and the 'it-can't-happen-to-me' belief system.  Being adventurous and gritty about beliefs and habits takes energy and time; convenience is frequently cited as the reason why people shop at supermarkets. Not once have I ever heard anyone excitedly remark about the freshness of the apples, or the crunch of the celery but, still that is where the majority of people still buy their heavy expensive packaging, originating from who-knows-where due to the feeble and ambiguous labelling and very few sustainability and environmental ticks.

Our alternative is to buy directly from the Growers and Makers from our immediate region and your buck ends up going four or five circles, not on a one-way journey to HQ in a capital city.

Come and meet our fabulous Growers and Makers each week at EAT LOCAL THURSDAY and enjoy feasting locally on the abundant, seasonal, chemical and gmo-free foods they bring every week.  Know your buck is doing good with someone you actually know and care about.  This is your food future.

The Verduci family bring a full range of seasonal vegetables.
The Quinty Bakehouse brings their popular organic sourdough breads and croissants
The Apple Shed apples, pears and cold pressed juices are always the best
Retief's organic wines include rose, Cabernet sauvignon and shiraz
Wiseman's Organics lentils and chickpeas are ideal for Indian cuisine, adding to hearty winter casseroles and vegetarian dishes
W2O olive oils has an extensive range of agrimato (flavoured) oils, table olives, plain evoo and divine hand made soaps
Hilltops Honey - flavoured honeys, furniture and leather conditioners, skin products, lip balm and many monofloral varieties of honey
Karrindee Blooms - the most beautiful and extensive range of native flowers and foliage you will ever see, grown 20kms from Wagga
Bush Goddess Paddock Pork - smoked sausages, fresh cuts, natural bacon, smoked hocks and snags.
Henty Free-Range eggs - from happy paddock chookies
Randall's Organic rice - many varieties
Walker's Whispering Pines organic flour
Bush Goddess desert dukkah and other condiments

The vagaries of the weather has become a significant factor in taking time to find the PERFECT location for EAT LOCAL THURSDAY so all our Traders and wonderful customers are safely and comfortably catered for. For those who are familiar with the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Tom Wood Drive, Turvey Park, there is one of Wagga's best-kept secrets there - Elements in the Garden function centre and cafe. As well as the cafe filled with proper coffee and food from chef Adam McLean (whose cheffing pedigree is outstanding), there is an enclosed playground, the Wagga Council managed zoo, modern, clean lavatories, shaded outdoor seating and the easily accessible large car park. Adam and Linda are wonderful hosts and this is a great spot to visit any day of the week (except Mondays and Tuesdays which are their <well deserved> days off).

No matter what weather conditions come our way, this venue is safe and sound for everyone.

We are excited seeing all our fab foodies  from 1130 each Thursday and please stay tuned to the Facebook page for up-to-the-minute news :-)  Thank you for your continued support and being part of this delicious local food movement.

P.S. On the 3rd May, did you see the episode of River Cottage Australia featuring the road trip through the Riverina and culminating with Paul's food caravan at EAT LOCAL THURSDAY?

Chemical and gmo-free foods

Over the past15 years, there has been gradual change; from the promotion of genetically engineered foods as 'better for the environment' and 'increasing yields' and 'feeding the world', the nonsense behind these statements has been revealed by small organisations across our planet. 

These volunteer organisations have tirelessly researched the claims made by the developers of these patented products (really, who allowed a plant to be patented in the first place, anyway?) which ultimately hoped to control the world's seed supplies and, therefore, up to 65% of all the world's food.  A very clever business model but morally and ethically moribund, if not downright wrong.

EAT LOCAL THURSDAY farmers markets has a point of difference from most other farmers markets in that NO produce or products containing chemicals (synthetic fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) or genetically engineered ingredients are allowed. As well as the banning of toxins in our food supplies for human health, the above also poison our landscapes; the evidence of pesticides killing bee populations across the globe is alarming.

Labeling on packaged 'foods' does not reveal any of the above information so consumers have no idea of the percentages of poisons contained within.  The only safe way to ensure you and your family are not ingesting is to buy directly from people you know and trust - our fabulous farmers and makers from across the Riverina and northern Victoria. We are proud to collaborate with them to bring YOU, our wonderful happy healthy customers, the finest, cleanest foods possible.

Eating is a political act

Where we choose to buy our food has political impacts.

When buying from national retail food chains, and adding to their turnover, individuals have no opportunity to influence or engage with this business entity. Imports of cheaper processed and fresh foods will increase, pressure will be applied to governments to allow more 'Free' Trade Agreements resulting in less Australian branded and owned foods.
Motivation for 'Cheaper Prices Every Day' and "We keep the prices down...down...down' is profit.

Profits are essential to every business otherwise they will go bust.

But, when Australian food producers are pulling trees out due to cheaper imported orange concentrates, this is at the expense of our nation's food sovereignty and food security.

We need prosperous farmers to ensure all Australians have access to high quality food under all circumstances.

Eaters - we have the opportunity to shape the future for our grandchildren by the choices we make when buying food.

Eating is a political act and I invite you to exercise your choice.