Farmers' markets that have managed to stay operational in the COVID-19 climate are reporting record numbers in the Southern Riverina as consumers turn to safe, reliable locally-grown food.
Producers of fresh food, including meat, fruit and vegetables are reporting a huge spike in sales with customers lining up early to get their pick of the produce at the Albury-Wodonga Farmers' Market and Wagga's Riverina Producers' Market.
Mel Angove, who runs the Albury-Wodonga market at Gateway Village, said numbers had been steadily rising at the weekly Saturday markets, that run from 9am to 12pm.
"With all the restrictions around social distancing and the number of people allowed per square metre, we started counting customers from mid-April," she said.
"We generally average between 500 and 600 on a Saturday and that's now hovering between the 1100 and 1400 mark.
"A couple of weekends ago on a really crappy, rainy day we still had 1000 people through, which bodes really well for winter."
Whether it was the chance to get out during the height of restrictions or concerns about congregating at supermarkets, Ms Angove said new customers had flocked to the markets keen to meet makers and growers.
"I think people are questioning where their food comes from," she said.
Ms Angove said with 75 per cent of farmers' markets in Victoria forced to close, stall holders were grateful to still be open for business.
Meanwhile at Wangaratta, forced to abandon its fortnightly event, the farmers' market has successfully moved online; manager Mary Daly said 100 boxes were being packed each week for Saturday pick-up.