Published: Oct. 6, 2012
The Squamish Farmers’ market is a significant economic player in the local economy, injecting over $1.8 million annually into the local economy, according to a recent study.
“Although people know the market is a great place to buy fresh, local food,” said Carolyn Morris, the farmers’ market manager, “the results of this study help us communicate to others how valuable the farmers’ market is to our community.”
About 57,942 people visit the farmers’ market annually and on the day of the study, August 18, 2012, about 2,550 people visited the market.
As many as 259 of these visitors participated in the survey. Over half of shoppers visit the market either ‘regularly’ (almost weekly) or ‘frequently’ (2-3 times per month).
The Squamish Farmers’ Market is participating in a province-wide study of the economic and community benefits of farmers markets.
“Farmers’ markets continue to serve as the face of farming in BC,” said Elizabeth Quinn, Executive Director of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.
“There has been significant growth in the number and vitality of farmers’ markets in BC and it is important to understand not only what they contribute but also how much they contribute to local neighbourhoods, cities, and towns,” she said.
Dr. David Connell, a professor from the University of Northern BC who is leading the project, added, “This project builds upon the results of a similar study we did in 2006.
At the end of this project we will be able to compare our results to see how much has changed over the past six years.”
The Squamish Farmers’ Market has been active in the community since 2005.
Since then, the market has continued to grow, diversify and complement the sustainable development of Squamish.
The Squamish Farmers’ Market shares a diversity of products that are made, baked and grown by its market members.
The project is carried out by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in collaboration with Dr. David Connell, a professor in the School of Environmental Planning at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Financial assistance was provided by participating farmers’ markets, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, and Vancity Community Foundation.