Its National Farmers Market Week, August 4-10!

August 8, 2013

For more information, contact: John Bott at 207-287-3156

Maine farmers markets continue to grow and thrive

AUGUSTA– National Farmers Market Week is here to help celebrate the growing consumer demand for healthy, locally grown foods. Throughout Maine, farmers markets are in full swing, delivering farm-fresh, healthy products to meet growing demand. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 8,144 farmers markets are now listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, up from 5,000 in 2008. The same trend is at work in Maine, where the number of farmers’ markets has also increased.

“Farmers’ markets strengthen communities and are business ‘incubators’ for small farmers and entrepreneurs. Many participants expand their retail or wholesale businesses, creating even more jobs in our rural economy,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.

Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb highlighted the importance of farmers’ markets for farmers, consumers, and entire communities. “Communities are recognizing the value of assisting markets in their towns and supporting agricultural activity in their immediate and surrounding area,” said Whitcomb. “The recent growth of farmers’ markets, locally and nationally, has been good for both farmers and consumers. For many people living in more populated areas, identifying the farmer, or farm source of their food is important.”

Maine’s DACF promotes growth and sustainability of farmers markets:

There are currently between 109-120 farmers’ markets in Maine. The number in 2012 was approximately 100, up from 63 recorded markets in 2007. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) supports and promotes the growth of farmers markets as a means of connecting local consumers and Maine food and farm products. In 2000, the Agricultural Resource Division initiated the popular “Get Real, Get Maine” promotional campaign to encourage consumers and wholesale buyers to purchase Maine food and farm products. That website, http://www.getrealmaine.com features a searchable database of farms and a listing of farmers markets.

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/acf