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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: The Importance of Farmers Markets (Episode 93)

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On today’s WJR Business Beat segment, Jeff discusses the importance of farmers markets. While they’re essential at all times, farmers markets are especially vital during COVID-19, as they are serving a more important role than ever in supplying fresh food to local communities and supporting our local small businesses, communities and local economies.

Farmers markets contribute about $9 billion to the U.S. economy every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Farmers Market Coalition says that the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 today.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear the full report: 


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“When you purchase from a local seller, most importantly, you keep your dollars at work in your local community by supporting the local businesses and the families that operate them.”

– Jeff Sloan

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

One of my favorite things is a local farmers market. The varieties of fresh produce from farm to market gets many of us as close to the source and as close to nature as we get in our otherwise urban or suburban ways of life and more than just a great experience, farmers markets contribute about $9 billion to the U.S. economy every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And the Farmers Market Coalition says that the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 today. And while today’s experience at a farmers market is different, along with most things in life, in order to comply with new safety requirements, they are serving a more important role than ever in supplying fresh food to local communities and supporting our local small businesses, communities and local economies.

According to the SBA, farmers get a bigger slice of the revenue pie by being able to sell direct to customers rather than having to pay for big distribution and retail costs in between them and the customers, as is the case when their produce is sold at traditional retail markets. And in fact, when selling through retailers, farmers only get an average of about 15.6 cents for every dollar that consumer spend on food they buy a traditional retail markets.

In addition to farmers benefiting by selling at local farmers markets, there are also local artisans who benefit, as well, by selling items like soap, candles, jewelry and more.

Plus, when you purchase from a local seller, most importantly, you keep your dollars at work in your local community by supporting the local businesses and the families that operate them.

So, as we head into the heart of the late summer, early fall farmers market bounty of fresh and unique offerings, you’ve got so many good reasons to shop at a local farmers market the next time you want to bite into something fresh just hours from farm to your table.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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