Essential Pittsburgh
3:39 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Digging Deeper Into the Business of Farmers Markets

Farmers markets provide a great place for local producers to test out their business ideas.
Credit Rhonda Schuldt / Local Goodness

For many, farmers markets are one of the wonderful diversions of the summer season, where practical shoppers and foodies alike can peruse the offerings of local farmers. They provide community, frugality and an opportunity to skip the supermarket. But what are the business benefits of participating in a farmers market?

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, the sellers in a farmers market get to see some clear benefits, one of which is the direct connection to their customers.

“It’s direct consumer marketing and the farmers get to decide on the pricing,” which helps them ensure they get fair pay for their hard labor.

Additionally, farmers markets provide vendors with a way to test out the viability of a business or product in a relatively low risk environment, with less overhead. That same lack of overhead makes it cheaper for consumers, which has led to an explosion in the number of markets.

Nowadays, farmers markets are ubiquitous throughout the nation, especially in Pittsburgh.While they used to be just a novelty, Harris says, “farmers markets are a really critical ingredient in our nation’s food system.”