Posted by: ShawnC | July 2, 2009

Support Your Local Farmers’ Market

http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3359&Itemid=99999999

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 – 05:31:00

Written by Mike Brown, MPP

Agriculture is an important part of the fabric of the riding of Algoma-Manitoulin. It employs many, and feeds even more. This is why it is so important that we support our local farmers’ markets.

We are blessed with a number of farmers’ markets. It is always a treat to take in the atmosphere, the sights, the sounds and the smells of these important community events, and I would encourage those who have not been to one to get out and take part. The markets are a great place to find fresh fruits, vegetables and other mouth-watering items, all of which are locally produced. In this way, you are not only filling your pantry with the groceries that you require, but you are also supporting your local farmers’ market, which helps to create jobs and promote consumer spending within your own community.

It may surprise some to learn that farmers’ markets have a significant economic impact upon Ontario’s rural economy, generating close to $2 billion annually. Over 27,000 people in Ontario are directly involved in preparing and selling products at farmers’ markets. With annual sales of more than $645 million, farmers’ markets provide an important economic link between local food suppliers, small processors and consumers.

Over the last several years, farmers’ markets have continued to grow at a rate of more than five percent a year. It is a growing trend that, with your support, will continue. And by contributing to the success of your local farmers’ market, you are helping to ensure the continued prosperity of your friends and neighbours.

As important as farmers’ markets are to the local community, they also serve a social purpose. They help to build a strong sense of community, as frequent visitors get to know their neighbours. Quite often, it is a good place to catch up on the local news in a small community. Farmers’ markets are also a great for learning purposes. Not only can you purchase product, but you can speak to the producer directly to learn more about their methods.

These are just some of the reasons that more and more people are taking the time to visit their local farmers’ market. Give it a try some time.

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