Local First: The Growth of Farmer’s Markets & Why to Choose Local Foods
In recent years the number of farmer’s markets here in Hawaii has increased dramatically, which makes all of us at Life Foods super happy. Each weekend morning, our hard working team packs up and heads to four different markets between Maui and Oahu to share food with our neighbors and friends. Every week we see the enthusiasm for the farmer’s markets grow, and we love that we are a part of this growing movement.
But it’s not just in Hawaii– across the United States, the number of farmer’s markets has been growing dramatically for the past decade (see chart below). But what’s the reason for this growth and what does it say about our purchasing habits? According to an article in US News, the increase in farmer’s markets is due to many factors: “the [growth of the] local food movement, the desire to support local businesses and farmers, and community-building all have contributed [to the growth].” In the same article, the author notes that while we spent $700 billion on groceries, $7 billion was spent at local markets. This doesn’t seem like a huge number in comparison, but dispersed between just the 8,000 farmer’s markets across the country, that’s a lot of money being spent in support of local agriculture!
Here at Life Foods we support local agriculture and small businesses in everything that we do. In our farm-to-shelf approach, we source our fresh produce whenever possible from local farms on Maui and the Big Island, and we work with small businesses that sell quality, organic products. This type of grassroots business helps strengthen the community and support economic growth within our islands. By supporting Life Foods, you are voting with your dollars for a healthier, more resilient local economy.