Fun facts for the National Farmers Market Week (7-13 August)

Farmers markets across the country will be celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 7-13, 2022.

With more than 8,600 registered farmers’ markets across the country, the week-long events will support the farm-to-fork movement and highlight the role farmers’ markets play in supporting healthy communities and boosting local economies.

National Farmers Market Week

The operational term of farmers’ markets has everything to do with unprocessed organic produce. Where entrepreneurs with green fingers and a business plan can introduce and sell their farm products. This includes specialty fruits and vegetables, freshly squeezed lemonade, craft beer, wine, homemade hot chocolate, or apple cider.

They can also sell some unique products that people will not normally find in the supermarket. Items such as natural bath and beauty products, fresh honey, homemade pies and cakes, flowers and plants and everything in between.

Not only customers see green, producers too

According to recent data released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), more than 147,000 U.S. farms produced and sold local food and earned $9 billion in revenue in 2020. Of these, more than 40,000 farms sold food directly to institutions and middlemen, raising $4.1 billion. While direct sales to consumers through farm shops and farmers’ markets brought in about $2.9 billion.

Texas led the nation in the number of farms that sell direct to consumers, with nearly 8,000 companies engaged in direct sales to consumers. Among the top five states that earned high-quality sales through direct to customers, California leads the nation with $1.4 billion in revenue, followed by Pennsylvania ($600 million), New York ($584 million), Michigan ($555 million) and Maine ($342). million).

Why are farmers markets important?

Farmers’ markets facilitate personal connections between farmers, shoppers and community members while providing essential services and many benefits. They contain:

Find fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables

Farmers’ markets offer organic fruits and vegetables that are in season. Consumers who shop directly from farmers also save money without necessarily sacrificing quality. Farmers’ market produce generally enjoys low-cost produce because of the added benefit of fresh produce, often coupled with superior taste.

This is because products sold in supermarkets are often harvested at an unripe stage, which adversely affects the taste of the fruit. Farmers’ markets also offer several varieties, including exotic and traditional produce, organically grown produce, and ethnic foods, not normally found in supermarkets.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Organic food is not only healthier for you, it is also healthier for the planet. Farmers markets eliminate the long supply chain, in addition to getting locally straight from the farm to your table, you also reduce your carbon footprint as your fruits and vegetables are sourced locally.

About 78% of the farms sell their products exclusively within 100 miles of the farm, while another 19% are partially sold within and outside 100 miles. These have the added benefits of less packaging, processing and refrigeration. You can also further reduce your carbon footprint by choosing reusable bags and walking to your farmers market for a breath of fresh air and an enjoyable shopping experience.

Give back to the community

In dollar terms, local shopping has a multiplier effect and stimulates the local economy. Research shows that for every dollar spent locally, 40 cents of that dollar is reinvested in the local economy.

While consumers take advantage of a good bargain, producers often make higher profits by eliminating multiple middlemen in the market. In addition, they act as incubators for farm, food and cottage businesses and offer farmers a great opportunity to gain and improve their business confidence as well as enhance their marketing and business efforts.

Now that you know about farmers markets, make it a priority this year. Visit your local farmers’ market for even a week and get to know your local producers and their products while supporting community health and boosting local economies.

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