Commissioner Hugh Weathers: National Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity to show the nation how much value markets bring to their communities. Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us about the value of Farmers Markets in South Carolina.

  • 2018 National Farmers Market Week is August 5-11, 2018
  • As of today, there are over 8,000 markets listed in our National Farmers Market Directory, demonstrating the continued demand for these community-oriented markets and the many contributions they make to their local economies.
  • When food is produced, processed, distributed and sold all within the same region, more money stays in the local economy.
  • This leads to economic development and job creation.
  • On average growers selling locally create 13 full time jobs per $1 million in earned revenue and those not selling locally only generate around 3 jobs
  • Additionally, Farmers Markets return up to three times as much of their sales to the local economy compared to other big chain retailers
  • Being able to quickly and directly market to the consumer gives farmers important income opportunities without the added costs of shipping, storage and inventory control.
  • Farmers Markets are vital to getting communities the fresh food that they need to have a well-balanced diet.
  • More than 20.2 million in SNAP benefits were spent at farmers markets in 2017
  • That is fresh food on low income Americans plates and increased revenue for local farmers.
  • Furthermore, Farmers Markets helps support healthy communities and increase consumer education about their local fresh food supply
  • On average consumers who shop at farms markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit all with people coming from their local community
  • When going to the grocery store consumers only receive 1-2 social interactions
  • These social interactions help aid how consumers are educated on where their food is coming from and having interaction with farmers who actually grow their produce
  • To find directions and additional information on South Carolina’s Farmers Markets go on our website, agriculture.sc.gov.
  • I hope you’ll join us in celebrating National Farmers Market Week