The 19th annual National Farmers Market Week is a celebration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system.
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics released by USDA, farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
Each year, farmers markets across the country mark the week with special events celebrating the benefits of farmers markets for farmers, consumers and the community as a whole. The Farmers Market Coalition is a national organization committed to strengthening farmers markets.
“It’s important for Americans to know that the food they buy directly from their local farmer isn’t just more flavorful, but also has a very real impact on the livelihoods of the men and women who produced that food,” said FMC’s executive director, Jen Cheek. “Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend at traditional food outlets, and they often have to wait a significant amount of time to receive payment. At a farmers market, 100 percent of your food dollar goes to your local farmer, immediately.”
Help promote the celebration by using the hashtag #FarmersMarketWeek and participating in FMC’s #LoveMyMarket Instagram Contest.