Malak Marketplace

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy
State or Territory
Northern Territory
Location
Urban

Malak Marketplace started in 2015 as a trial project for only six weeks right at the end of the season. The local and organic farmers market has now been four years running and has been growing and improving every season since.

Activating an urban space to bring together a diverse multicultural community

Malak Marketplace began from a need identified for a clean local farmers market in Darwin focusing on local, spray-free and organic produce which no other market in Darwin had.

The Marketplace is an evening market in the Northern Territory that activates an urban space to bring together a diverse multicultural community and showcase the talents, creativity and interests of local community members. The marketplace opens weekly in Malak at Chambers Crescent Car Park, from 4pm until 9pm every Saturday through the Dry Season (27 weeks).

Malak Marketplace responded to a need for a local farmers market focusing on local, spray-free and organic produce.
Malak Marketplace responded to a need for a local farmers market focusing on local, spray-free and organic produce.

The market has developed a space that offers a platform for community building, as well as opportunities to develop small business enterprises which reveal and share a unique local community culture.  With around 70 stallholders each week, the markets are well attended with around 1500 to 2000 local visitors and 200-300 tourists during peak season attracted to each market.

The Marketplace is continually introducing new ideas to promote quality organic produce, environmental sustainability, multiculturalism and to support local growers and traders
The Marketplace is continually introducing new ideas to promote quality organic produce, environmental sustainability, multiculturalism and to support local growers and traders

In a city known for markets, Malak Marketplace is an innovator. The markets have significantly committed management practises and stallholders to eco-friendly and sustainable development. The marketplace is continually introducing new ideas and methods focusing on quality organic produce, environmental sustainability, community education, multiculturalism, families, support of local growers and traders, musicians and performers and clean living.

Malak Marketplace has made a commitment to educate people about benefits to community through: 

  • Local supplies of fresh and seasonal food
  • Knowledge of the provenance of the food 
  • Opportunities to get to know the producer and learn about their production methods 
  • Contribution to local environmental sustainability 
  • Better nutrition for the family
  • Better value for money, more affordable food
  • Opportunity to try before buying
  • Providng a weekly social activity for the community
  • Education to increase knowledge of local products
  • Sensory training and experience
  • Benefits to local economy through buying local produce and accessing local businesses
  • Improved air quality and safety from reduced vehicle congestion around key activity centers and higher levels of cycling and walking 
  • Contributing to sustainable communities through the reduction of vehicle kilometers travelled and the carbon footprint 
  • A legacy of improved community health, social inclusion and quality of life.
The markets were innovative and true to their ethos in considering pasta straws to replace the traditional plastic products.

From little things big things grow

In the initial planning phase, other successful organic farmers market around Australia were researched, which included speaking to other market managers. Malak Marketplace was established with a 6-week trial in 2015 which gauged the level of community support and involvement. Since then is has been successfully operating during the Dry Season of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Malak Marketplace was recognised for its benefits to community and tourism by winning Community Event of the Year and two consecutive nominations at the Brolga Awards in the Food Excellence category. 

Measuring success

The project team has evaluated stallholder feedback forms, market goers’ reviews and feedback from social media, monitored attendance and continue to strive for quality. Positive impacts include:

  • Increased quality, higher standards and ongoing promotion of producer-consumer conversations
  • More multicultural cuisine stalls to appeal to audience interested in exploring cultural roots of the community  
  • Support for more local artisans to showcase their work on a casual basis without making a commitment to the entire season.

Project Team

  • The management team is run by the three Cofounders and comprises Board Members who are stallholders, as well as an Operations Manager/Stallholder.

Project Cost

N/A

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