A farmers' market (or farmers market according to the AP stylebook) is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers' markets may be indoors or outdoors and typically consist of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Farmers' markets exist in many countries worldwide and reflect the local culture and economy. The size of the market may be just a few stalls or it may be as large as several city blocks. Due to their nature, they tend to be less rigidly regulated than retail produce shops.
They are distinguished from public markets, which are generally housed in permanent structures, open year-round, and offer a variety of non-farmer/non-producer vendors, packaged foods and non-food products.
The current concept of a farmers' market is similar to past concepts, but different in relation to other forms – as aspects of consumer retailing, overall, continue to shift over time. Similar forms existed before the Industrial Age, but often formed part of broader markets, where suppliers of food and other goods gathered to retail their wares. Trading posts began in 1930s, a shift toward retailers who sold others' products more than their own. General stores and grocery stores continued that specialization trend in retailing, optimizing the consumer experience, [ citation needed ]while abstracting it further from production and from production's growing complexities.
Modern industrial food production's advantages over prior methods depend largely on modern, cheap, fast transport and limited product variability.But transport costs and delays cannot be completely eliminated. So where distance strained industrial suppliers' reach, where consumers had strong preference for local variety, farmers' markets remained competitive with other forms of food retail. Starting in the mid-2000s, consumer demand for foods that are fresher (spend less time in transit) and for foods with more variety—has led to growth of farmers' markets as a food-retailing mechanism.
Farmers' markets can offer farmers increased profit over selling to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. By selling directly to consumers, produce often needs less transport, less handling, less refrigeration and less time in storage. By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, lighting and air-conditioning is also reduced or eliminated. Farmers may also retain profit on produce not sold to consumers, by selling the excess to canneries and other food-processing firms. At the market, farmers can retain the full premium for part of their produce, instead of only a processor's wholesale price for the entire lot. However, other economists say "there are relatively few benefits in terms of energy efficiency, quality or cost ... fun though they are, are not good economic models."
Some farmers prefer the simplicity, immediacy, transparency and independence of selling direct to consumers. One method noted by the special interest group Food Empowerment Project promotes community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs).In this scheme, consumers pay farms seasonally or monthly to receive weekly or biweekly boxes of produce. Alternatively, they may be required to pay for an entire season's worth of produce in advance of the growing season. In either case, consumers risk losing their money if there is a crop failure.
Among the benefits often touted for communities with farmers' markets:
Reduced transport, storage, and refrigeration can benefit communities too:
Farmers' markets may also contribute to innovative distribution means that strengthen civic engagement by reducing the social distances between urban and rural communities. With fewer intermediaries, the support of independent growers by local community members can enhance local economic opportunities and health & wellness in poor communities.
Some consumers may favor farmers' markets for the perceived:
Evidence seems to show that overall prices at a typical farmers' market are lower than prices at a supermarket because the process of production is more concise; there is less distance to travel and fewer middlemen.
The traditional public markets in Chinese cities are known as "wet markets" (菜市场) where most vendors are resellers. The Chinese government has attempted to transform these traditional markets to supermarkets in urban renovation projects. It has led to a decline of these markets in some cities such as Shanghai.Yet, in other cities, wet markets persist and dominate the retail of fresh produce and meat. Because of its critical role in ensuring urban food security, wet markets receive various supports from the local government.
After 2010, farmers' markets in China were reborn in some major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu amidst the food safety crisis. These farmers' markets (农夫市集) provide venues for local small ecological farmers to sell their produce within the city, catering urban middle-class's growing demand for high quality food. Many of these market vendors are operating community-supported agriculture.
The EU has formalized efforts to expand farmers' markets to reduce food safety risks and poor nutrition through programs known as "Farm to Fork".
Farm-to-fork was developed with three main goals within the EU:
Since the first farmers' market was established in the UK in 1997, the number has grown to over 550 nationwide.A number of factors led to the rise of farmers' markets in the UK in the late 1990s, including the increasing knowledge of consumers, the struggles of British farmers, anti-French sentiment, and concerns over food safety and quality. Consumers were worried about the farming practices by which food is produced, processed and the health and safety aspects of certain foods. The emergence of books, magazine articles, and cookery and gardening programmes influence consumer concern of food preparation and consumption.
Due in part to the increased interest in healthier foods, a greater desire to preserve local cultivars or livestock (some of which may not be up to commercial shipping or yield standards) and an increased understanding of the importance of maintaining small, sustainable farms on the fringe of urban environments, farmers' markets in the US have grown from 1,755 in 1994 to 4,385 in 2006,to 5,274 in 2009, to 8,144 in 2013. In New York City, there are 107 farmers' markets in operation. In the Los Angeles area, 88 farmers' markets exist, many of which support Hispanic and Asian fare.
In the U.S., all levels of government have provided funding to farmers' markets, for instance, through the federal programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. The programs primarily subsidize purchases at farmers' markets by low-income residents.Examples include Austin's Double Dollar Incentive Program, Boston's Bounty Bucks, Chicago's LINK Up, Columbia Heights Festibucks in Washington, D.C., Fresh Checks in East Palo Alto, Market Match in Los Angeles, Michigan's Double Up Food Bucks, New York City's Health Bucks, Portland Fresh Exchange, and Seattle Fresh Bucks. These programs often rely in part on nonprofit support.
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A wide range of organizations initiate, organize, and manage farmers' markets, including farmers' groups, community groups, local governments, etc.
Some markets are strictly managed, with rules for pricing, quality and vendor selection. Others are much more relaxed in their operations and vendor criteria. While the usual emphasis is on locally grown food products, some farmers' markets allow co-ops and purveyors, or allow farmers to purchase some products to resell.
There have been recent reports of fraud and products mislabeled as organic or locally grown when they are not.In some cases, fraudulent farmers' markets sell regular grocery store vegetables, passing them off as organic or locally grown, to which are usually sold to unsuspecting tourists.
Some farmers' markets have wholesale operations, sometimes limited to specific days or hours. One such wholesale farmers' market is the South Carolina State Farmers Market,which is a major supplier of watermelons, cantaloupes, and peaches for produce buyers in the north-eastern US. Farmers' markets also may supply buyers from produce stands, restaurants, and garden stores with fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, seedlings and nursery stock, honey, and other agricultural products. Although this is on the decline, in part due to the growth of chain stores that desire national distribution networks and cheap wholesales prices—prices driven down by the low cost of imported produce.
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A wide variety of beef and pork products are sold at farmers' markets in the United States. Typical beef products include steaks, ground beef, jerky, and various types of beef sausage. Typical pork products include sausage and bacon.
Beef and pork products sold at farmers' market in the US, like those of any other beef/pork product that are sold to the public, must originate from livestock slaughtered in a government (federal or state) inspected slaughterhouse.Since government inspected slaughterhouses purchase livestock for slaughter, many often have the facilities, equipment, and personnel to supply meat products to distributors/wholesalers. Like restaurants, such arrangements are popular with farmers’ market vendors because they allow them to avoid the overhead costs (facility, equipment, knowledge, maintenance, food safety inspections, etc.) associated with producing meat products that may be legally sold to the public. Resell vendors are in the majority at farmers’ markets while vendors that make and package their own meat products represent a very small percentage. Reselling allows vendors to minimize investment and overhead costs by purchasing their products from a commercial slaughterhouse and/or processing plant.
Meat products at farmers' markets being sold by resellers will include a "distributed by/packed for", or similar, statement on the labels of their meat products. Conversely, meat products being sold at farmers' markets that are prepared and packaged by the selling vendor will not include a "distributed by/packed for", or similar, statement.
Unprocessed meat (retail cut) products found at farmers' markets may include a government inspection legend plus a "distributed by/packed for/prepared for" label. Other information on the label will include weight, price, and safe handling instructions.
The official inspection legend includes an establishment number (EST) that identifies the last company that did the processing/butchering, packaging, and labeling of the product. Since the label includes the "distributed by/packed for" statement, the meat may come from the livestock of other farmers/ranchers or a corporate feedlot. The presence of a government inspection legend identifies a meat product that was not processed and packed by the selling vendor. Meat products prepared and packed by the selling vendor or butcher will not include a government seal, and will not include any type of statement that classifies the vendor as a reseller/distributor.
The labels on retail beef and pork products that originate a vendor's/rancher's livestock will not include the "distributed by/packed for/prepared for” statement. Note that the label will still have an official/government Inspection Legend that identifies the establishment that performed the slaughtering, butchering, packaging, and labeling because any product leaving a slaughterhouse to be sold for human consumption must have a government inspection legend. For example, a label that does not have a "distributed by/packed for", etc. statement ensures the buyer that, while the vendor did not do the butchering/packaging/etc., the meat did originate from the vendor's livestock.
The label on a meat product that is processed and packed by the selling vendor will not include a government inspection legend and it will not include a "distributed by/packed for" statement.
Retail cuts of meat products sold by a vendor that performs its own butchering, packaging, and labeling will not include a government inspection legend or a "distributed by/packed for" statement on the label. In such cases the vendor/butcher gets the carcass or other major cuts of meat from a government inspected slaughterhouse and does the secondary butchering ("fabrication"), packaging, and labeling in its own facility. A government official inspection legend is not required on a package of meat butchered and packaged by such a vendor because it is sold directly to the consumer.
Most processed meat products (sausage, bacon, hot dogs, frankfurters, snack sticks) sold at farmers' markets have labels that include a "distributed by/packed for/etc." statement as well as a government inspection legend. The government inspection legend includes an establishment number (EST #) that identifies the commercial processing plant that made and packaged the products; similar to a package of sausage or bacon sold in supermarkets.Alternately, a processed meat product sold at a farmers' market that does not include a "distributed by/packed for/etc.” statement and a government inspection legend is a product that is made and packaged by the selling vendor. There are also vendors that sell processed meat products that include a government inspection legend without a "distributed by/packed for/etc.” statement; such vendors are selling co-pack products in which the maker/producer prepares and packages the product according to the vendors’ recipe.
Wholesale processed meat products that are resold at farmers' markets are known as "private label" products.Such products will include a "distributed by/packed for/etc.” statement plus a government inspection legend that provides a number that identifies the product's producer. The numbers of critics of private label products are increasing as consumers become aware of poor practices often employed by the products' producers.
It is not unusual to find distributors/resellers of processed meat products at farmers' markets because wholesale products allow vendors to minimize their investment by not having to pay for the overhead (knowledge, skills, equipment, supplies, maintenance, food safety inspections, packaging, labeling, etc.) required to produce their own products. A wholesale package of processed meat will bear a label that has a government inspection legend. The inspection legend will usually have an Establishment Number (EST #) that identifies the processing plant that made and packaged the product. Additionally, the package will contain a phrase similar to "distributed by: Steve’s Family Meat Company" or "packed/prepared for Steve's Family Meat Company” somewhere on the label. Both the producer (identified by the EST. # in the inspection legend) and distributor/reseller (for example Steve's Family Meat Company) will be identified on the label.
A product label of a farmers' market vendor that makes and packages its own product will not include a "distributed by/packed for/etc." statement, and it will not have a government inspection legend because its products are sold directly to the consumer.Information on the producing vendor's label will include the following information:
It will not include a government inspection legend or seal.
Ideally, farmers' market produce and fruit are normally grown within a geographical region that is deemed local by the market's management. The term "local" is defined by the farmers' market and usually represents products grown within a given radius measured in miles or kilometers.Many farmers' markets state that they are "producer only" markets, and that their vendors grow all products sold. Some farmers' markets do not use the term "producer only" and may allow resellers of produce, fruit, and other food products.
Some farmers' markets allow vendors to resell vegetables and fruits if they are not available locally due to the time of the year. Vegetables, fruit, meat, and other products resold at farmers' markets are available to vendors through food distributors.This is a common practice and provides consumers with produce and fruit that are unavailable at certain times of the year. In many markets resell items are a permanent part of the vendor's inventory.
There are four subject areas that consumers tend to consider when purchasing food directly from the producer:
All vegetables and fruits have unique names that distinguish them from any other, whether they are for commercial use, for home gardening, or heirloom. A number or alphanumeric string usually identifies the newer commercial varieties.Vendors’ employees might not always know the variety names of the produce they are selling but they will be able to get a list from their employer (producer). There are vendors that violate rules by reselling products at Producer Only markets.
Depending on the farmers' markets, a wide variety of products are available. Poultry, lamb, goat, eggs, milk, cream, ice cream, butter, cheese, honey, syrup, jams, jellies, sauces, mushrooms, flowers, wool, wine, beer, breads, and pastries are some examples of vendor produced products sold at farmers' markets. Many farmers' markets allow vendors to prepare and sell ready to eat foods and drinks.
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Some investigations in the United States and Canada have found shops in farmers markets selling fruits and vegetables not sourced from their own farms.In September 2017, a hidden camera investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation found that some of the stalls in one market purchased produce on the wholesale market and removed the original stickers, raising the cost to 50% above the retail prices.
Tampa Bay Times food critic and investigative reporter Laura Reiley found [ citation needed ]some vendors at local farmers' markets selling rejected produce from local wholesale markets, or selling produce purchased from non-local sources. In some cases they claimed to sell products from their own farm at first, but when pressed admitted that they had grown none of the products for sale. In at least one case, despite vendor claims to the contrary, the farm in question was not growing any food, and the produce was all purchased from other companies. Fraud may sometimes be obvious because the type of food being sold does not grow locally or is out of season. Federal regulations in the United States require country of origin labeling for produce at supermarkets but not for small independent vendors.
The Tampa Bay Times also found that packaged foods, such as sauces, honey, jam, and beef jerky may appear to be from local vendors due to the local company's branding on the packaging, but are actually produced at co-packer plants with non-local ingredients. In the United States, the FDA requires that the manufacturer's name and address be listed on the food label, which can reveal this discrepancy.
According to a study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics , farmers markets increase the number of outbreaks and cases of food-borne illness, norovirus, and campylobacter.
A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections. It is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.
A grocery store, grocer or grocery shop (UK), is a store primarily engaged in retailing a general range of food products, which may be fresh or packaged. In everyday U.S. usage, however, "grocery store" is a synonym for supermarket, and is not used to refer to other types of stores that sell groceries. In the UK, shops that sell food are distinguished as grocers or grocery shops, though in everyday use, people usually use either the term "supermarket" or, for a smaller type of store that sells groceries, a "corner shop" or "convenience shop".
Food storage allows food to be eaten for some time after harvest rather than solely immediately. It is both a traditional domestic skill and, in the form of food logistics, an important industrial and commercial activity. Food preservation, storage, and transport, including timely delivery to consumers, are important to food security, especially for the majority of people throughout the world who rely on others to produce their food. Food is stored by almost every human society and by many animals. Storing of food has several main purposes:
Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services rather than those produced farther away. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal, "buy local" or "buy locally', that parallels the phrase "think globally, act locally", common in green politics.
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. A lesser known counterpart is certification for organic textiles that includes certification of textile products made from organically grown fibres.
Ground beef, minced beef or beef mince is beef that has been finely chopped with a knife or a meat grinder or mincing machine. It is used in many recipes including hamburgers and spaghetti Bolognese.
Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption, or sale. In other words, it might refer to whether a commodity should no longer be on a pantry shelf, or just no longer on a supermarket shelf. It applies to cosmetics, foods and beverages, medical devices, medicines, explosives, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, tyres, batteries, and many other perishable items. In some regions, an advisory best before, mandatory use by or freshness date is required on packaged perishable foods. The concept of expiration date is related but legally distinct in some jurisdictions.
The food industry is a complex, global network of diverse businesses that supplies most of the food consumed by the world's population. The term food industries covers a series of industrial activities directed at the production, distribution, processing, conversion, preparation, preservation, transport, certification and packaging of foodstuffs. The food industry today has become highly diversified, with manufacturing ranging from small, traditional, family-run activities that are highly labor-intensive, to large, capital-intensive and highly mechanized industrial processes. Many food industries depend almost entirely on local agriculture, produce, or fishing.
A wet market is a marketplace selling fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as distinguished from "dry markets" that sell durable goods such as fabric and electronics. Not all wet markets sell live animals, but the term wet market is sometimes used to signify a live animal market in which vendors slaughter animals upon customer purchase, such as is done with poultry in Hong Kong. Wet markets are common in many parts of the world, notably in China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. These include a wide variety of markets, such as farmers' markets, fish markets, and/or wildlife markets. They often play critical roles in urban food security due to factors of pricing, freshness of food, social interaction, and local cultures.
Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, or provided. Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system balanced with ensuring human health needs. This often includes decision-making around production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting or furthering social objectives. Food policy can be promulgated on any level, from local to global, and by a government agency, business, or organization. Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, establishing eligibility standards for food assistance programs for the poor, ensuring safety of the food supply, food labeling, and even the qualifications of a product to be considered organic.
Foodland Ontario, founded in 1977, is a consumer promotion program for the government of Ontario. Foodland Ontario currently falls under the administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Ontario. Through market research, advertising campaigns, working with local farmers and reaching out to retail locations, Foodland Ontario's mission is to "spread the word about the great taste, nutrition and economic benefits of buying Ontario food to all people in Ontario".
Food safety is used as a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illness. The occurrence of two or more cases of a similar illnesses resulting from the ingestion of a common food is known as a food-borne disease outbreak. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potential health hazards. In this way food safety often overlaps with food defense to prevent harm to consumers. The tracks within this line of thought are safety between industry and the market and then between the market and the consumer. In considering industry to market practices, food safety considerations include the origins of food including the practices relating to food labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines for the management of governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods. In considering market to consumer practices, the usual thought is that food ought to be safe in the market and the concern is safe delivery and preparation of the food for the consumer.
A fruit stand is a primarily open-air business venue that sells seasonal fruit and many fruit products from local growers. It might also sell vegetables and various processed items derived from fruit. The fruit stand is a small business structure that is primarily run as an independent sole proprietorship, with very few franchises or branches of larger fruit stand conglomerates, though many large food industry businesses have developed from fruit stand businesses.
A market, or marketplace, is a location where people regularly go to gather for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other goods. In different parts of the world, a market place may be described as a souk, bazaar, a fixed mercado (Spanish), or itinerant tianguis (Mexico), or palengke (Philippines). Some markets operate daily and are said to be permanent markets while others are held once a week or on less frequent specified days such as festival days and are said to be periodic markets. The form that a market adopts depends on its locality's population, culture, ambient and geographic conditions. The term market covers many types of trading, as market squares, market halls and food halls, and their different varieties. Due to this, marketplaces can be situated both outdoors and indoors, and in the modern world, online.
Agricultural marketing covers the services involved in moving an agricultural product from the farm to the consumer. These services involve the planning, organizing, directing and handling of agricultural produce in such a way as to satisfy farmers, intermediaries and consumers. Numerous interconnected activities are involved in doing this, such as planning production, growing and harvesting, grading, packing and packaging, transport, storage, agro- and food processing, provision of market information, distribution, advertising and sale. Effectively, the term encompasses the entire range of supply chain operations for agricultural products, whether conducted through ad hoc sales or through a more integrated chain, such as one involving contract farming.
Bacon and Hams is a 1917 book by George J. Nicholls, a member of the Institute of Certificated Grocers. The book details the then-modern bacon and ham industry beginning with the use of the pig breeds, meat processing and the distribution and pricing of cuts with a focus on the United Kingdom. The meat processing aspects focus on the popular Wiltshire cut of the time, but also includes American cuts as well. The book was described, with approbation, by the Saskatchewan Overseas Livestock Marketing Commission, as an "admirable and important treatise". Despite having entered the public domain, the book is rare and collectible and generated interest for its "unparalleled" anatomical details of pigs found in its fold-out pages.
Pink slime is a meat by-product used as a food additive to ground beef and beef-based processed meats, as a filler, or to reduce the overall fat content of ground beef. In the production process, heat and centrifuges remove fat from the meat in beef trimmings. The resulting paste is exposed to ammonia gas or citric acid to kill bacteria. In 2001, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the product for limited human consumption. LFTB prepared using ammonia gas is banned for human consumption in the European Union.
Ground turkey, or minced turkey, is a mixture of dark and light turkey meat with remaining skin and visible fat processed together until a "ground" form emerges. The turkey meat, skin, and fat is taken off the bone and processed with additives. The final product has specific characteristics that appeal to customers, including a non pink color and non crumbly texture. The composition of ground turkey is driven by market demand, availability, and meat prices. The majority of ground turkey is made from excess thighs and drumsticks rather than the more costly breast meat. Ground turkey was known for being significantly cheaper and healthier than ground beef, but as its popularity has risen, so has the price. Now it is often more expensive than ground beef.
A food hub, as defined by the USDA, is “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distributions, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.” Food hubs are a part of the agricultural value chain model and often share common values relating to conservation, sustainability, healthy food access, and supporting local farmers. A defining characteristic of food hubs is source identification, a food safety and marketing benefit that allows consumers to trace the origin of products they buy. One of the primary goals of food hubs is to give small and medium-sized farmers access to larger or additional markets. Food hubs also fill gaps in food systems infrastructure, such as transportation, product storage, and product processing. Although companies and organizations that fit the USDA definition have been operating in the United States since at least the early 1970s, most food hubs, as well as the common use of the term, started in or after 2008.
Xinfadi Market is a covered wholesale food market in the southern Beijing district of Fengtai. As of 2020, the market provides more than 90% of Beijing's fruits and vegetables according to state media. Seafood and meat are also sold at the market. Vendors distribute produce from Xinfadi to many smaller markets in Beijing. It is nicknamed the "vegetable basket" and "fruit bowl" of the city.
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