Farmers’ markets threatened?

Some supermarkets are advertising their own versions of farmer’s markets, though the claims may not be accurate or fair.

The Wall Street Journal reported that several supermarkets are trying to attract customers by putting produce outside, after the fashion of outdoor farmers’ markets — and in some cases labeling them as such. But most market-goers agree that this is bad news for actual farmers’ markets.

“Farmers and their supporters have spent several decades building ‘farmers’ market’ into a brand that signifies something specific to consumers, namely, locally grown produce fresh off the farm,” the WSJ reported.

There is talk of clarifying the definition of farmer’s market, and getting them back to the main point: They give local growers the opportunity for a bigger profit margin on their goods, while giving customers the opportunity for fresher produce, since it comes from local farms.

The supermarket trend started on the West Coast, but who knows how far it will travel if deemed successful by these supermarkets? New York City has many farmers’ markets, including the one in Union Square, and the WSJ reported “there are more than 6,132 farmers’ markets nationwide, … according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey.”

The article said some states are already narrowing their definitions of farmer’s market in efforts to preserve the integrity of them.

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