CAN (ON): Farmers markets provide tips to promote local growers
Farmers' Markets Ontario (FMO) is offering consumers new tools to help them find and support farmers at their local market. FMO, which represents the province's 185 markets, has produced a series of practical videos to promote farmers and their farm-fresh products.
The Consumer's Guide to Finding the Farmer at Your Market helps consumers differentiate between farmers, who grow what they are selling, and resellers who buy and resell. FMO's research shows that 92% of shoppers at farmers' markets say that buying directly from a farmer is important to them. "We value the fact that we know the source of the food–we know that the farmers we shop from grow the food and take a lot of pride in that", says shopper Susie Fowler of Kitchener.
Here are tips for market shoppers who want to buy directly from the farmer:
Get to know your farmers and vendors.
Follow your favourite farmers on social media.
Look closely at the stand and product signage.
Ask the vendor if they grow the products.
Ask if there are opportunities to visit the farm.
FMO introduced the MyPick Verified Local Farmer brand to promote farmers and inform consumers. This video profiles the brand's benefits and explains the verification process. The livelihood of hundreds of Ontario farm families depends on selling directly to consumers at markets. "For our family, the farmers' market has been super important", says MyPick Verified Local Farmer Steve Fekete. "It's our sole source of income." Consumers can support farmers like Steve by looking for the MyPick logo at their market.
The other videos in the series have been developed to help market managers and vendors:
How Farmers' Markets Can Ensure Farmer & Vendor Authenticity.
Regulatory Requirements for Produce Sold in Ontario.
Tools to Assist Farmers' Markets with Authenticity: Best Practices & Success Stories.