August 11, 2012
DiNapoli: Farmers’ Markets Double in New York
New York City is Home to 138 Markets
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 today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. 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.
Both New York State and New York City have undertaken initiatives to increase access to farmers’ markets for low-income households. In 2011, more than 100 farmers’ markets in New York State accepted food stamps and New York’s farmers received $2.6 million in food stamp dollars from direct-to-consumer sales in that same year. Several programs at the city and state level to encourage low-income residents to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables have successfully distributed millions of dollars in aid.“As the number of farmers markets in our state increase, so do the number of people who become aware of how vital the agricultural industry is not only to a healthy lifestyle, but to New York's economy too," said Senator Ritchie, Chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee,” New York State Senator Pattie Ritchie (R-Watertown), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I want to congratulate Comptroller DiNapoli for his efforts to bring consumers closer together with the hardworking people who grow the food they eat each and every day.”
“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. I thank Comptroller DiNapoli for bringing attention to this solid New York success story.”
“Comptroller DiNapoli’s report underscores the role farmers’ markets play in linking New York’s upstate agricultural supply and downstate consumer demand. Greenmarkets across the five boroughs are fostering a strong network of commercial relationships among producers, grocers, specialty shops, restaurants and individual consumers in ways that benefit the economies and quality of life both upstate and downstate,” said New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane (D-Manhattan).
“I applaud Comptroller DiNapoli on his overview about the upbeat report with farmers’ markets in New York State. This is very positive news for New York farmers who for years have worked to reach out to New York consumers to provide fresh, locally grown products to sell. Farmers’ markets give consumers healthy options and the opportunity to connect with the farmers’ one-on-one,” said New York State Assemblyman William Magee (D-Nelson), chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
“Farmers’ markets are focal points for revitalized neighborhoods and improve the quality of life. The markets support New York’s agricultural sector while teaching consumers about local agriculture and healthy eating. I commend Comptroller DiNapoli for putting together this report on the impact that farmers' markets have had on New York City and the State,” said New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), Chair of the Assembly Health Committee.
“My district has been most fortunate to host one of New York City’s largest and oldest farmers’ markets. It is wonderful that more greenmarkets have been established. The link between those who work hard to produce healthy local food and New Yorkers in need of better access to it has been and should be supported and strengthened,” said New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan).
“It’s exciting to see the number of farmers’ markets grow across the state and here in New York City,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “It’s also wonderful to have New York State as a partner in our efforts to expand access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables while supporting our upstate local farmers, making it a win-win for both city and state.”“Farmers’ markets are an exceptional way to celebrate the diversity of our state in a collectively enriching way. Residents in my council district are just a few blocks away from a wide variety of fresh, affordable, locally sourced and nutrient-rich foods for their whole family. Shopping at farmers’ markets has a universal benefit for all—economically, environmentally, agriculturally and in terms of health outcomes—I hope that they continue to grow and provide affordable and healthy food for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.
“I commend Comptroller DiNapoli for focusing on farmers’ markets, particularly the interaction between the Grow NYC Greenmarkets and our upstate and Long Island farmers. Farmers’ markets help provide a valuable outlet for our farm products, ensuring that many of our farmers are able to keep producing local foods for local people. Just as importantly, farmers’ markets are a wonderful way for our farmers to connect the life and business of running a farm with people in the city who otherwise would have no exposure to our farm families, providing a great education for both farmers and consumers,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau.
“Comptroller DiNapoli has visited the Finger Lakes region and seen first-hand the economic value our farmers provide,” said John Martini, president of Anthony Road Winery. “I thank him for his support in the promotion of New York products throughout the state. Selling our Anthony Road wines in the Union Square Green Market has led to expanded sales to retailers and restaurants throughout the metropolitan area.”
“Working with communities and farmers around the state, New York state and local partners are taking strides toward improved food security and protection of agricultural lands that supply a thriving network of farmers markets. Expansion of markets and increased economic opportunities mean more farm jobs and healthier communities,” said Ethan Winter, New York Conservation Manager for the Land Trust Alliance. “We applaud Comptroller DiNapoli for recognizing the important role that farmers markets have on public health, community vitality, farmland preservation and New York’s economy.”
“For 20 years Harvest Home Farmer’s Market has connected upstate New York and other farmers to low-income households that otherwise would not have access to fresh, healthy food. Comptroller DiNapoli’s report will go a long way in galvanizing the role of farmers markets in activating public spaces and serving as a vital community resource,” said Maritza Wellington Owens, chief operating officer of Harvest Home Farmer’s Market.
“Farmers markets play an important role in providing fresh and healthy food to New York residents and creating direct connections between consumers and the farms where food is grown. Unfortunately, agricultural lands in the Hudson Valley – part of New York City’s ‘foodshed’ are disappearing at an alarming rate. That’s why we applaud Comptroller DiNapoli for his continued support of agriculture in New York State, notably the Farmland Protection Program in the state’s Environmental Protection Fund,” said Andy Bicking, director of Public Policy, Scenic Hudson.
"The Union Square greenmarket -- the oldest greenmarket in New York City -- has been a key component in the economic revitalization of the neighborhood and has contributed to the increasing pedestrian counts on the district," said Jennifer Falk, executive director of the Union Square Partnership. "New York State Comptroller DiNapoli's report supports what we at the Union Square Partnership know, that the greenmarket is vital to the local economy. From visitors to office workers, residents to restaurants, the greenmarket is a treasure beloved by the entire Union Square community."
For a copy of the report visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/osdc/farmersmarkets_rpt6-2013.pdf