Farmers Markets in Mississauga are Back

 

June marks a good time in Mississauga. All the farmers markets are in full swing this month! The Square One Farmers Market opened up at its new location on Robert Speck Parkway. Celebration Square’s farmers market starts this week so lets take advantage of these farmers markets over the next five months.

There was a time when farms were bountiful in Canada, and when most produce consumed was from hardworking, loving hands whose life work was to fill your plate with good, healthy food.  As time has flown by, the produce bought at grocery stores is now largely imported or produced by agriculture corporations.  There are still family farms in our country that want to bring you quality food while remaining a sustainable form of income for the people who own it and the ones who are employed by them.

In a study commissioned by Farmers Market Canada, 30% of non-users surveyed said the reason they did not shop at a farmers market was because they were not aware of one in their area.*  This is where I come in.

There are of variety of reasons why shopping at the local farmers market is good for you and good for our economy.  I’ve high-lighted the most important five below. 

1. Increased sales for local farmers equals more local jobs.  Farming requires a lot of hard work.  The more business our local farmers get, the more jobs they can create to keep up with demands. 

2. Every dollar spent ripples back into our local economy.  The money spent at a farmers market helps create jobs, increases sales at other neighbouring businesses, and helps keep money in our community.  When we buy imported products, we send our hard-earned money out of our community.

3. There is an increase in diversity in products.  By this I mean that farmers markets are starting to sell more than just food.  Entrepreneurs have started selling crafts, body products, jewellery, and can now you can even buy VQA Ontario wine at farmers markets for the first time!  This is great for small businesses, as statistics show that 97% of market-goers are indeed there to buy.*  What a great way to help grow your business. 

4. Increase in demand can equal increase in services.  In a previous insauga.com article the #5 thing Mississauga wish it had was an indoor/outdoor market, which would allow us to have a winter market.  Additionally, the aforementioned study found that the most popular suggestions for change to Canadian markets was a wider selection and longer hours as well as being open year round.*  These changes cannot happen without the demand

5. Farmers markets create a sense of community.  Living in a large city, that is mostly run by corporations, changes the way we interact with our community.  No longer are we shopping at businesses that are independently run, where we are supporting a person by taking our business there.  Creating buying relationships with our local farmers and entrepreneurs helps us feel more connected to the community.  Farmers markets have a heart that you won’t find shopping at a mall.  Being mindful of how our actions can positively affect our society can breed more opportunities for it.  If we can become a place that supports our local colour, we might find ourselves with more of it.

The key to this being a successful endeavor starts with YOU.  It means you need to go to farmers markets with your friends and family and buy your groceries and spread knowledge about how important farmers markets are for our economy.  It means teaching younger generations the importance of supporting local businesses.  Consider the idea that every hard-earned dollar you own is a vote.  You consider your mayoral votes carefully before election day; do the same with your dollars.  They can mean the difference between corporations getting a raise, or a family farm getting to keep the lights on and feed their own family.  So which are you going to vote for this summer?

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