Too Many Farmer's Markets?
Are there too many farmer's markets now?
Eggert says that communities, often hyperfocused on improving access to fresh, locally grown foods and caught up in the excitement of a new neighborhood amenity, fail to think through the logistics: There are too few farmers and too few customers to make multiple markets viable. Rather than packing up their tents, smaller struggling markets could combine forces with each other to create a single, stronger farmers market.
Before setting up farmers markets in every available park, public square and church parking lot, Eggert encourages would-be organizers to consider if the demand for fresh foods is being met through existing markets and whether it makes sense to partner with a neighboring community to establish a market.
"Farmers markets are a key source of local food, but we'd like to see communities working together," says Eggert. "If five communities partnered on one market instead of starting five different markets, that one market would be a more exciting venue for customers and a more profitable market for farmers. We don't need more markets — we need stronger and more viable markets."