The Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market opened to the public last weekend
By Diego Flammini
Peterborough’s community came out in droves to support the opening of a new local farmers market.
The Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market and its 41 vendors welcomed customers on June 9 at its City Centre Courtyard location.
The atmosphere at the opening was vibrant, and customers eagerly purchased items from the local vendors.
“The market was absolutely packed with people walking around and enjoying everything the vendors had to offer,” Neil Hannam, president of the Peterborough Regional Farmers Network, told Farms.com today. The Network runs the market.
“The market opened around 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and almost every farm vendor was sold out long before noon.”
“Some vendors said they experienced up to 300 per cent in sales growth compared to this weekend last year.”
A group of local producers established the new market after being evicted from the Peterborough Farmers’ Market for speaking out about a lack of transparency at the market.
Martin Oates, a carrot and potato grower, left the old market about five years ago, before the situation with the evicted farmers gained media attention over the past year.
He’s now a vendor at the new market and is pleased that customers are not being misled about the produce they are buying.
“We grow and sell everything ourselves, so competing with people bringing in food from the Ontario Food Terminal was a little hard to take,” he told Farms.com today. “We want customers to feel comfortable coming to the market and know that they’re getting what they expect, which is local products from local farmers.”
Growers who remain at the old market wished their colleagues well.
“They obviously felt they needed a change and came up with an idea for a new market,” said Brent Kent, a vegetable producer from Lindsay, Ont. “I wish them nothing but success as they go forward.”