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ID: 414
Categories: Concept, Economy
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Up links

You could check first, Awareness Raising for Transition and Governance. For solving the problem of distribution costs, you could check Agroecological Cooperative as an alternative to Farmer's market. An interesting online network which solve the same problem of distribution and locality is "Alveare che dice si".

Farmers’ Market

Farmer’s market are a response to the increasing disconnection among food production, distribution and consumption.

Description of the problem

Generally speaking, it is a very well known fact that a very small percentage is paid to the food producers, most of the profit goes to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. This has a devastating effect on small farmers, that in some cases cannot deal with production costs.

At the same time in nowadays society, consumers has lost the track of food production, and locality. The food we buy in stores or supermarket possibly come from thousands of kilometres away. This is a big contributor to climate change gases. Consumers are also worried about the farming practices by which food is produced, processed and the health and safety aspects of certain foods. This concern is exacerbated by the emergence of books, magazine articles, and cookery and gardening programmes that influence consumer’s mindset.


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. 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. 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.

Risks and precautions

  • Although Ideally farmers’ market products are normally grown within a geographical region (as in the term “local”), the judgment for that is left to the market’s management. For this reason the farmers’ market can become a simple retailer market that sell products coming from anywhere.
  • Need to promote food safety regulations.
  • According to a study, farmers markets can increase the number of outbreaks and cases of food-borne illness.


  • 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.
  • By selling directly to consumers, farmers may retain profit on produce not sold to consumers, by selling the excess to canneries and other food-processing firms.
  • Farmers’ markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange.
  • market traffic generates traffic for nearby businesses
  • buying at markets encourages attention to the surrounding area and ongoing activities
  • lower transport pollution and refrigeration energy costs
  • less land dedicated to food storage
  • fresher, healthier seasonal foods
  • a place to meet neighbors, chat, etc. and establish community networks and relationships

Case study

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. You can check the wikipedia page to have some example of farmers’ markets.

Tips for Adaptation

Further reading

Wikipedia page on Farmer’s market  


farmers' market is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers (or producers in general) to consumers. Farmers' markets may be indoors or outdoors and typically consist of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.

Down links

Farmers' markets and City Farms can be linked together in a synergic way. City Farms can host Farmer' markets and the produce of City Farms can be sold in the Markets (as an example).