National Farmers Market Week was started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation's food system. The campaign runs throughout the first full week of August each year and is formally declared by a USDA proclamation. This year, Farmers Market Coalition is joined by Farm Aid, Hodo Foods, and Yankee Candle as sponsors of the celebration.
FMC's 2019 National Farmers Market Week campaign will highlight the important role that farmers markets play in fostering entrepreneurship. By providing a low-barrier to entry point, maximum return on investment, and immediate feedback on products, farmers markets serve as an innovation lab for small businesses.
"Hodo began with one farmers market stand and is now a national plant-based foods brand found in more than 4,000 retail stores across the country. Farmers markets serve as a unique launch setting, facilitating direct engagement with retail consumers and chefs. Those who shop at farmers markets are often curious and are advocates for fresh ingredients, clean products, and have discerning tastes. Engagement at the farmers markets created opportunities for Hodo to test new products, educate consumers and chefs, and build long lasting relationships based on the premise of food with integrity." said Minh Tsai, Founder and CEO of Hodo.
"National Farmers Market Week is a chance to celebrate all that farmers markets do for communities," said Farmers Market Coalition's Executive Director, Ben Feldman. "This year we are focused on the role that farmers markets play in creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, particularly to those who may lack the capitol or connections necessary to start a more traditional business. Farmers market success stories include farms and businesses run by young people, immigrants, and the previously incarcerated. With low barriers to entry and a customer base that prioritizes the product over the packaging, farmers markets are the most democratic form of commerce around."
Each year, farmers markets across the country recognize National Farmers Market Week with special events and activities celebrating the benefits of farmers markets for farmers, consumers, and the community as a whole. As the only national organization dedicated to the needs of farmers market operators, FMC makes it easy for all market managers, regardless of funds or capacity, to spread the word about National Farmers Market Week and the benefits of farmers markets.
Editor’s note: For more information about the Farmers Market Coalition, visit www.farmersmarketcoalition.org.