Farmers’ Markets in High Demand

Last week, CCOF celebrated the 15th annual “National Farmers Market Week.” Among the many causes for celebration, CCOF joined the USDA in applauding increased access to farmers’ markets across the United States. 

The number of listed farmers’ markets totals 8,268, according to the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, an online tool with a searchable database for information such as directions, operating times, and product offerings.

California has the most farmers’ markets of any other state, but all geographic regions have seen an overall increase in markets since 2008, according to a recent USDA press release.

Despite the increase in markets, both private and public groups continue their efforts to expand quality of and access to the farmers’ markets nationwide. For example, the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers’ markets, has three priorities:

  1. Farmers earn fair prices for the fruits of their labor by selling directly to consumers
  2. Consumers gain access to fresh, nutritious, local produce
  3. Communities regain a figurative “town square,” experiencing the many positive outcomes of foot traffic and animated public space

Additionally, the Farmers Market Coalition hopes to increase market opportunities for recipients of USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as low-income women, infants, and children and seniors participating in the WIC and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs.