There is something quaint about heading down to the farmers market each week to stock up on produce and fresh meat for the week while supporting local farmers. Be it a permanent storefront filled with local and natural products, or a popup tent in the school parking lot every Thursday night, fresh markets have grown in popularity not only for consumers, but for the farmers, too.
In the modern era, people are becoming more health conscious than ever before. With so much information available, they’re becoming more aware of their lifestyles, and have all the information available at their fingertips to not only find nutritional value, but recipes requiring unusual ingredients, the footprint of the food they eat, where to find local foods, and so much more. People also like supporting small and local business, and know that their food is breathing the same air they are.
For farmers, heading to the market is a great way for them to provide their communities with the food they want, while connecting and networking with other local farmers. While customers love the bounty of the fresh market, it also serves as a great benefit to the farmers. Here are some of the reasons farmers like to utilize their local market to sell their products.
No Middleman means Higher Return: One huge benefit for farmers selling their food in local fresh markets is that there is no middleman. They don’t have to supply to a distributor, who then makes money marking up their product. They bring it straight to the farmers market or the fresh market. At a farmers market, they keep whatever they sell it for, aside from any space rental necessities. In a local market, they can sell it at a higher price directly to the store because the store would already be paying a markup if they bought it from a distributor.
They also know that their food is properly taken care of, and it touches fewer hands before landing on someone’s dinner plate, which helps ensure the highest quality product for the consumer, ensuring repeat business in the future.
Less Product Needed: Small local farmers are able to better tend to their livestock or their produce when they sell locally or even from their own shops. They are able to provide the best quality they are able to because they need less of it and don’t need to stock so much.
Supporting Local Business: By sending their product to a farmers market or fresh food market, farmers are able to keep their product local and help support local business. The local market won’t survive without the farmer, and the small non commercial farmer likely won’t survive without local markets.
Farmers Cooperative: Farmers who use local markets also often participate in an agricultural cooperative to survive. Cooperatives are formed when several farmers pool their resources or their product in order to sell more product. For example, several small dairy farms won’t produce enough to stock a certain area, but if they are part of a cooperative, they all work together to create for one main brand or product. They may not have the factory needed to make cheese, and the cheese factory may not have the resources to raise dairy farms. Together, they become more successful. This can result in a wider local distribution of an item.
Farmers are the basis of basically everything we put in our mouths, be it farming for a homestead, or on a large scale. Regardless of how it’s done, it must always be recognized as important.