What is a farmers’ market:- it is a physical market (retail) that showcases edible foods that are sold directly by the farmers to end users (consumers). The markets typically comprises of tables or stands, booths, outdoors or indoors. Farmers sell their cultivated vegetables, meats, fruits and often times prepared foods or beverages for public consumption. They are quite different from the public kind of markets which may be housed with permanent structures throughout the year and may also display a variety of non farmer producer vendors, non food products and package foods for sale.
A brief history of the Farmers’ Markets
The establishment of a farmers’ market was similar to what was known to be a past practices and concept but with a little deference in the ways and manners in which the market was being operated; as the concept of consumer retailing continued to diversify over the years. Original similar forms existed before the advent of the industrial age and period, but, mostly it use to be a broader markets known that where suppliers of food and other goods came together to sell or retail their products. The method of trade began to drift towards retailers whole could sell other goods more than theirs. This eventually led to specialization such that a trader could be involved in General stores and also participate in grocery stores and this lead to the optimization of the consumer experience.
Besides, industrial food productions’ though has its own advantages with cheap fast food availability, but then there is a high demand in fresh foods and not just canned foods that is not fresh and contains preservative, due to the fact that some farmers’ food are perishable these farmers come together and establish a market for themselves where one can buy fresh farm products that is more healthier than that from the industrial suppliers. Although the existence of the problem of transportation directly from the farm to the cities was prominent. But at the farms the transportation is less since the markets are often closer to the farmers and they prefer to put their products in the farmers’ market – this has led to the growth and success of the Farmer’s Markets.
Benefits of the Farmers’ Markets To the Farmers
The Markets is beneficial in the sense that the problem of middlemen has been overcomed by the farmers, and they can increase their profit by selling their food processes, large grocery farms products, etc. directly to consumers. They also overcome the problem of expensive transportation, they benefit from less handling processes and cost, less refrigeration, less time storage of perishable goods.By selling their farm produce in the outdoor market farmers reduce the cost of land, electricity, air-conditioning etc. associated with regular markets places. Farmers are on the advantage side when they are able to sell excess farm produce directly from the farm to industries who need their farm products as raw materials for processing in the food industries. Farmers prefer selling their farm produce directly to consumers and do not like the complex and elaborate contracts associated with transacting with agricultural conglomerates who make them go through some form of bureaucracy in other to sell their products.
Farmers’ Market is advantageous to communities because a farmer’s market help in maintaining social ties, linking the rural and urban area population, traffic generation for nearby businesses, it attracts attention in the surrounding and will also improve business activities in the community, it encourages visitors and investment
90% of the money made remains in the community where the Farmers Market as reported by McClintock Fountains Farmers Market and it helps in the economic development of such community. It helps in providing employments and contributes to innovative means of distribution and encouraging civic activities.
America’s Farmers market said customers are drawn to the Famers Market because they are able to shop locally for food quality, great social atmosphere and better prices. Prices in the Farmers Markets are cheaper than process foods industries because of less cost of production and processing expenses including distance covered in transportation of food and the problem of the middle men. It is often observed that prices of foods in supermarkets are 91% higher than that from Farmers’ Markets. Farmers’ markets products are more fresher and favorable.
Regional emphasis of Farmers’ Markets
Increase demand for maintaining important small and sustainable farms on the increasing urban environments, the United States farmers’ markets have grown and continue to increase from 1,755 in 1994 to about 4,385 in the year 2006 and from 5,274 in year 2009 to about 8,144 in the year 2013. Farmers’ markets in Canada has develop to the extent that you can shop for farmers’ market on the website all over the country in Canada their various location are provided. People in Canada prefer to shop for fresh farm products in the farmers’ markets.
Farmers’ Market in the UK
Farmers Markets in the UK developed due to some certain forces of the society and the market started in 1997 the markets has grown to about 550. Issues such as increasing knowledge of consumers, the struggle of the UK farmers, the issue of anti French sentiment and growing concerns of food security and other health issues contributed immensely to the growth of the Farmers’ Market. With the emergence of articles, magazine and books on the issue further propelled the development of the farmers markets.
European Union involvement in Farmers’ Markets
The European Union has contributed its own measure by instituting the programe called “Farm-to-fork” which was meant to developed within its jurisdiction (i) effective forms of execution and evaluation of food safety standards (ii) work internationally with third world countries and organizations that manage food safety concerns (iii) comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) standards of research and it’s management of science-based research program.
Management of Farmers’ Markets
There are officials designated to inspect the Farmers’ market in other to make sure there are compliance with the requisite standards of maintaining healthy food sales and distribution of livestock or food products. They make sure that regulations are observed.
Government Inspection legend / seal are made to be used to label some market vendor products which are label according to the identity of the company as thus;-(a) Name of Company (b) Address (c) Product Name (d) Ingredients (e) Date Code (f) Safe Handling Instructions
Produce and fruit of Farmers’ Markets
Some plants and fruits produce are planted and grown within a particular geographical region and the farmers’ markets is referred to as “local”. They may also allow resellers of farm produce and other food products. Each vegetables and fruits have their unique names that differentiate them from all others.
Farmers’ Markets Dairy, poultry, and other products
Some Farmers’ markets specializes in various products including livestock, processed food like milk, ice cream, cheese, honey syrups, jams, sauces, mushrooms, etc. some farmers markets allow vendors to prepare and dispense foods and drinks as-well.
The farmers markets as seen all over the world always reflect their local tradition or culture and economic activities. The sizes of the markets varies from place to place, which may comprise of small stalls to several big city blocks of structures. Some may decide to integrate sales of live animals, imported delicacies that are not available locally, goods and crafts can be also sold in the farmers markets.