concept: markets run by farmers are becoming a constant presence and a good alternative in consumption in many urban areas around the world. They can be formalised as Certified Farmers Markets (CFM) (for example, the Ferry Plaza Farmersí Market in San Francisco) or they can take place within a more informal scheme (for example, the Bio Market at Isola in Milan). Yet, the common concept is that of a place where farmers sell the products that they have been growing directly to the consumer. A CFM is an initiative approved by the county agricultural commissioner, while local inhabitants who participate with their homemade products can develop other farmers markets.
impact: in big urban realities these markets represent an opportunity for consumers to get to know more on rural life and on what lies behind the products that they buy. The coming together of such different realities constitutes a way of mixing cultures, knowledge and experience and results in a stronger sense of community and of social interaction among local population. The benefit is twofold: saving costs for the farmers who avoid the big industrial channels from one side and granted quality for the consumer and saving costs as well from the other side.
where: examples can be found in many cities. To quote a few:
Chaville, France - Greentrade.net (www.greentrade.net/sp/default.html);
London - London Farmersís Market (www.lfm.org.uk);
Milan - the Bio Market at Isola (www.cantierisola.org/bio/index.htm);
San Francisco - the Ferry Plaza Farmersí Market (www.ferryplazafarmersmarket.com);
Washington D.C. - the Anacostia Farmers Market (www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/anacostia).