Posted by: colleenoshea | March 1, 2009

Farmers Markets Proven to be a Benefit Across the Country

    fmcbannerv51 The most comprehensive study of its kind in Canada was released to farmer’s markets vendors last week at the first annual Farmers Markets Canada conference and annual general meeting. The National Farmers Markets Impact Study was conducted in 2008 to “assess trends and highlight opportunities for growth in farmers’ markets in Canada”. Unfortunately I was not in attendance at this year’s conference; however my father was there taking notes for me. He commented that it was a very exciting time to see the results unveiled to farmers from across the country.

Overall, the combined economic impact of farmers’ markets in Canada is estimated in a range between $2 billion and $3 billion. Profiles of average market shoppers were included in the study, including details on how these average shoppers spend their money. Some main key points that the study reveled include:

• Farmers’ markets remain strong contributors both to the economy and to the fabric of Canadian communities.

• Farmers’ markets continue to show growth on an annual basis.

• Farmers’ markets play a key role in the marketing of Canadian agricultural products; they play a significant role in generating farm incomes.

• Strong growth opportunities in this sector focus on more aggressive marketing and promotion of markets; on encouraging additional vendors and vendor capabilities; on improved access to labour; and on the development of more and improved facilities.

• The need for a National Association is recognized, in order to focus on and represent growth opportunities and to provide strong support for farmers’ market stakeholders.

 

 I think it’s pretty safe to say that farmers’ markets across the country are a definite benefit to the Canadian agricultural industry. From personal experience, I can certainly say that farmers markets truly are a setting where what I like to call “the magic” happens. That magic includes education, awareness, and entertainment. Farmers markets are the perfect time for consumers to meet their farmers, talk with them face to face and gain that trust that their food is being produced safely and locally. It is the perfect time for education and awareness on current agriculture related topics and on the importance of healthy food. Farmers markets are a time for the community to come together, to work in unison to improve their local economy, to do their part for the environment and of course, to have a visit and a laugh with neighbors. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to attend farmers’ markets as a vendor with my parents for the past 21 years of my life. I am proud that I have and continue to talk with customers, gain respect, raise issues and overall do my part to bridge the gap between city and country.

 

 

 

My Dad and I at the Grand Bend Farmers Market

My Dad and I at the Grand Bend Farmers Market

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Responses

  1. You are right Colleen – there is alot of magic in the air. More and more people seem to be wanting information about where and how their food is being produced! Farmers’ markets are creating an interesting buzz in rural communities everywhere!


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