NEW YORK - Since the 1970s, the number of farmers’ markets has grown significantly in New York City and throughout the state as the popularity of locally-grown produce and locally-made products has increased, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as part of a celebration of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Farmers Market week.
“Farmers’ markets boost local economies and promote a healthy and sustainable food system,” DiNapoli said. “New York is home to over 500 farmers’ markets, more than double the number since 2000, and there are no signs of a slowdown. These markets enhance communities and the lives of those who live nearby.”
The USDA recently announced that there were 7,864 farmers’ markets nationwide, up from 2,863 in 2000. The number of farmers’ markets in New York has increased from 235 in 2000 to 521 as of August 2012, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. New York City is home to 138 farmers’ markets, with 48 located in Brooklyn, 39 in Manhattan, 32 in the Bronx, 17 in Queens and two in Staten Island
Regional farms are among the primary beneficiaries of the increase in farmers’ markets, with 20 percent of all New York farms engaging in direct-to-consumer sales in 2009. The value of direct-to-consumer sales in New York reached $362 million in 2009, up 57.4 percent since 2000. Of the 262 farmers working at the 93 farmers' markets associated with GrowNYC, Just Food, or Harvest Home in New York City, 197 were located in New York State.
“Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, and farmers' markets and greenmarkets are a simple, beneficial way to connect our neighborhoods with fresh, healthy, and locally-grown food,” said New York State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). “New York State has been a national leader in the growth of farmer’s markets, and both here in the city and out in our agricultural regions, all New Yorkers are reaping the benefits”
David Haight, New York State Director for American Farmland Trust said “New York’s more than 500 farmers’ markets provide fresh food while supporting jobs on farms. Creating more economic opportunities for farmers is critical to stopping the loss of farmland that has plagued New York for decades,”