Infographic provided by https://www.madfishdigital.com
Dating back to 1730 and originating in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, folks have been buying fresh and local goods from farmer’s markets.
Farmers’ markets are popular worldwide and most often reflect the local culture of their surrounding areas. These bastions of deliciousness offer a myriad of treats from meat and vegetables to cooking demonstrations and fun foodie events. Here farmers and many others sell their goods directly to consumers.
These markets are growing rapidly across the United States. The USDA stated that the number of farmers markets in the United States increased 68 percent over the last 15 years, from 5,000 markets in 2008 to 8,411 in 2015.
What are the Economic Benefits of Farmer’s Markets?
Did you know that farmer’s markets impact more than just their shoppers? They have been shown to affect the local economy as well. The increase of a vendor’s personal income and increased job creation are just some of the contributing factors. For example, vendors at farmers’ markets are liable to see increased profits by selling products to the local community than by selling them to a wholesaler.
According to the USDA, “When food is produced, processed, distributed and sold all within the same region, more money stays in the local economy. This leads to economic development and job creation. Farmers markets provide opportunities for small farmers and businesses to sell their products, and they help meet the growing demand for locally produced food. Being able to quickly and directly market to the consumer gives farmers important income opportunities without the added costs of shipping, storage and inventory control.”
Why Do People Flock to Farmers Markets?
It’s all about consumer demand. More and more people want to purchase food that is both healthy and sustainable. The desire for fresh produce, meats, dairy and more, free of additives and chemicals, has been increasing for decades. This is in part due to the public wanting to increase their personal health, increase the positive ecological impact of sustainability, and their awareness of how industrial agriculture can negatively impact human health and the environment as a whole.
Sustainable.org lists even more reasons why people buy sustainably:
- To save family farms
- Promote animal welfare
- Protect and support rural communities
- Empower and protect workers
Your Guide to Farmers’ Markets in Portland, Oregon
Eating Well Magazine rated the Portland Farmers Market one of the five best in the United States. What did they base their research on? A few things:
- Variety of local foods
- Number of workshops and demonstrations
- Quality control
- Focus on education
- And more!
The Portland Farmers Market offers a bevy of markets Portlanders can visit to satisfy their cravings for fresh fare. From the Lents International Farmers Market in southeast to the market in historic Kenton in the northwest, the city and surrounding areas are awash in all that is fresh and edible!