Here are just a handful of reasons as to why you should frequent and support small businesses at your local farmers market:
1. You’re Helping To Strengthen Your Local Economy & Community
Purchasing products directly from farmers and local vendors helps small businesses more than the average consumer may know. On average, only 10% of each food dollar makes its way back to the farmer or vendor due to the cost of marketing, transportation, and the packaging involved with getting their products on store shelves. When you purchase directly from the farmer or vendor, you’re ensuring that over 80% of the well-earned proceeds are making their way back into the pocket of the farmer. This is important because the profits that are kept by local businesses are typically used to grow said business and hire local employees, as well as support other local businesses. All of this works to create a circular local economy, helping us rely and depend on one another. By investing in your local farmers and vendors, you’re investing in the growth and sustainability of your own community.
2. You’re Helping To Reduce Waste
Farmers Markets are a great way to reduce our environmental impact. There is typically no shipping or packaging required when purchasing food and other products directly from a vendor. This helps to reduce carbon emissions and manufacturing waste. Also, local farmers typically care more about our soil health and general well-being as a community than a foreign farmer living in another country might. As a result, these local farmers work hard to implement sustainable agricultural growing practices that aren’t destructive to the environment they live and play in.
3. Think Fresh!
Here in Canada, our food, on average, travels thousands of kilometres before it finally arrives in our kitchen. One of the best things about farmers markets is that you’re purchasing fresh-picked foods that are minimally handled or processed, just prior to the market opening. You’re also getting a better grasp of what seasonal foods are available in your area and educating yourself on what fresh food should taste like. This is important because the fresher the food, the more nourishing it is for our bodies!
4. Establishing A Sense of Community
There is something so inviting about wandering through a farmers market and getting to know the beautiful, smiling faces of the people that have grown and picked your food, versus walking up and down grocery store aisles without knowing anything about the people behind the making of any given product. Farmers markets are a great way to connect with local business owners and come into a greater awareness of what makes your local economy tick. It’s also a great place to socialize and interact with people from all walks of life who probably share (or are at least curious about) the same principles as you.
Shopping at farmers markets is one of the best things you can do to ensure a stable, local economy, support and increase beneficial farming practices, reduce unnecessary waste and pollution, and create a healthier lifestyle for your self and others. To find out which farmers markets are closest to you, click here.
Vancouver Island’s Own is a family-owned and operated business specializing in gourmet, vegan, and organic granola & trail mix, handmade with love in Victoria, BC. We believe in encouraging others to explore and connect with the environment in order to ensure our collective well-being.
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