Farmers Markets Play an Important Role
With this week being designated National Farmers Market Week, we’ll take a look at the role Farmers Market play in local economies.
Local food and direct marketing opportunities, including farmers markets, are one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, direct sales of food products from farmers to individual consumers rose by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2007. Worth an estimated $1 billion in 2005, local food sales grew to $4.8 billion in 2007 and nearly $7 billion last year, according to industry estimates.
Washington Farmers Market Association Executive Director Karen Kinney says
Kinney: “Farmers markets play an important role for many farmers who aren’t growing the volume or quantity of crops to be able to sell wholesale or sell to grocery stores. So the markets are a way for them to connect with shoppers and sell a lot of food in a short period of time and earn a fair return on it so that they can then go back and spend it in their communities.”
According to American Farmland Trust research, for every $10 spent on local food, farmers get $8-9 compared to traditional farmers and ranchers who only receive about $1.58 of $10 spent.
Also for ever $10 spent at a farmers market, studies show that as much as $7.80 is re-spent in that local community, supporting local jobs and businesses.