FARMERS MARKET


FARMERS MARKET

A farmers' market is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers' markets may be indoors or outdoors and typically consist of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their homegrown produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.



 Farmers' markets exist in many countries worldwide and reflect the local culture and economy. The size of the market may be just a few stalls or it may be as large as several city blocks. Due to their nature, they tend to be less rigidly regulated than retail produce shops.

They are distinguished from public markets, which are generally housed in permanent structures, open year-round, and offer a variety of non-farmer/non-producer vendors, packaged foods and non-food products.

IMPORTANCE OF FARMERS MARKET

To farmers     

·           Farmers' markets can offer farmers increased profit over selling to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. By selling directly to consumers, produce often needs less transport, less handling, less refrigeration and less time in storage.

·         By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, lighting and air-conditioning is also reduced or eliminated.

·         Farmers may also retain profit on produce not sold to consumers, by selling the excess to canneries and other food-processing firms.

·         At the market, farmers can retain the full premium for part of their produce, instead of only a processor's wholesale price for the entire lot. However, other economists say "there are relatively few benefits in terms of energy efficiency, quality or cost ... fun though they are, are not good economic models."

·         Some farmers prefer the simplicity, immediacy, transparency and independence of selling direct to consumers.


To communities        

·         Farmers' markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange.

·        Market traffic generates traffic by buying at markets, which encourages attention to the surrounding area and ongoing activities by providing outlets for 'local' products. farmers' markets help create distinction and uniqueness, which can increase pride and encourage visitors to return.

·         Reduced transport, storage, and refrigeration can benefit communities too

·         lower transport pollution

·         lower transport infrastructure cost (roads, bridges, etc.)

·         less land dedicated to food storage

·   Farmers' markets may also contribute to innovative distribution means that strengthen civic engagement by reducing the social distances between urban and rural communities.



To consumers 

·         Reduced overhead: driving, parking, etc.

·         Fresher foods

·         Seasonal foods

·         Healthier foods

·    A better variety of foods, e.g.: organic foods, pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs and poultry, handmade farmstead cheeses, heirloom produce heritage breeds of meat and many less transport-immune cultivars disfavored by large grocers.

·         A place to meet neighbors, chat, etc.

·         A place to enjoy an outdoor walk while getting needed groceries

·     Evidence seems to show that overall prices at a typical farmers' market are lower than prices at a supermarket because the process of production is more concise; there is less distance to travel and fewer middlemen.

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