[Market-farming] Farmer's Market question

wiediger at msn.com wiediger at msn.com
Sun Jul 10 09:32:09 EDT 2005


What we have found, as farmers that participated in such a market for many years is that the re-sellers take over.  It's much easier to buy a truckload (or 2 or 3) from a wholesaler on Friday than it is to harvest, wash and pack produce you grow. It puts farmers at a disadvantage.  Innovative season techniques are useless when a re-seller can have any produce item at any time.  New variety doing well?  Next week the re-seller can have it in any quantity he wants.  The re-seller has no labor costs, and can undercut the prices a farmer needs to get fair value for his labor.  Once one does it, many follow suit, and soon there are too few REAL farmers to "refine" anything - the re-sellers have all the votes.  It cheats the farmers, and in many cases, cheats the customers who think they are getting fresh, local produce from a farmer.

We started a producer only farmers market last year - and it is growing very well.  Most of our customers are very pleased to be confident they are buying from the farmer who grew the produce.

Once you allow re-selling, at any percentage, it is nearly impossible to control it in our experience.


Paul and Alison Wiediger
Au Naturel Farm
http://aunaturelfarm.homestead.com
  The most successful farmers Markets I have seen allow all kinds of vendors
  to sell all kinds of food products whether they produce them or not in order
  to create a draw, once the crowds show up then they begin to restrict or
  "refine" the offerings to better highlight the farms in the area.
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