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Farmers' markets/stands

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Community Members Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Grantmakers
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

A farmers’ market is a multiple vendor market, where producers sell goods directly to consumers at a specific location. Farmers’ markets most often sell fresh fruit and vegetables; meat, dairy, grains, prepared foods, and other items may also be available. 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased access to fruits & vegetables
Increased healthy foods in food deserts
Increased fruit & vegetable consumption
Strengthened local & regional food systems
Improved local economy

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that farmers’ markets increase access to healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables (McCormack 2010, Young 2011, Sallis 2006, Larsen 2009Freedman 2013, Freedman 2011a). Establishing farmers' markets or stands is a suggested strategy to increase fresh produce in food deserts (CDC-Food deserts, UW IRP-McCracken 2012) and to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption (CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011, CDC DNPAO-Farm). Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Farmers’ markets can increase fruit and vegetable consumption in low income communities (Evans 2012, Racine 2010, Ruelas 2012), and among low income diabetics (Freedman 2013). In many studies, farmers’ markets have been associated with increases in fresh produce purchases and self-reported increases in fruit and vegetable consumption (CDC-Olmsted County MN, Cromp 2012, Blanck 2011, Alberti 2008, Ruelas 2012, USDA-Ragland 2011, USDA-Brantley 2002). A study of low income women in Los Angeles, for example, finds that participants shopping at a farmers’ market have a greater increase in fruit and vegetable consumption than grocery store shoppers and non-participants (Herman 2008). However, education efforts may need to accompany markets to substantially affect consumption (Fitzgerald 2011); relatively little is known about the effects of environmental change alone on eating patterns (Young 2011, Sallis 2006).

Starting and sustaining farmers’ markets in low income areas may reduce disparities in access to healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables (PolicyLink-Flournoy 2005). Studies suggest that prices at farmers’ markets are often lower than supermarket prices (Swenson 2012). In North Carolina, shopping at a farmers’ market resulted in an average savings of 18% for all produce items (McGuirt 2011).

Zoning that supports farmers markets, street food vendors, and other public markets may strengthen local food systems, enhance local economies, and contribute to a livelier pedestrian environment (Morales 2009).

Implementation

United States

As of 2013, at least 17 states and Washington DC enacted legislation to support local food production, marketing, and consumption, including farmers’ markets and local food distribution (NCSL Winterfeld-Obesity prevention 2014). Various state and local policies can encourage farmers’ market establishment (NCSL-Farmers market). For example, in Fresno, CA local zoning ordinances establish zones where farmers’ markets are an approved land use, and in Minneapolis, MN streamlined permitting processes support small farmers’ markets (ChangeLab-Land use and FMs).

Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, and New Hampshire have more than 7 farmers’ markets per 100,000 state residents, while the national average is 2.5 (CDC-State indicator 2013). Various databases offer search functions to find local farmers’ markets (USDA-Farmers markets).

The US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) operates the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program, which distributed about $15 million in 2014 to support farmers’ markets and other direct to consumer retail outlets (NCSL Winterfeld-Obesity prevention 2014, USDA-FMPP).

Wisconsin

Several websites offer databases of WI farmers’ markets. The Wisconsin Farmers Market Association site is searchable by county (WI FMA-Market search). The Wisconsin Food Security Project also provides local data about food security infrastructure in Wisconsin, including farmers’ markets data (UW Ext-WFSP).

Implementation Resources

CDC-DNPAO data - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO). Nutrition, physical activity and obesity: Data, trends and maps online tool. Accessed on June 16, 2017
CDC-HFR 2014 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Healthier food retail (HFR): An action guide for public health practitioners. 2014. Accessed on May 25, 2017
ChangeLab-Farmers markets - ChangeLab Solutions. Farmers’ markets. Accessed on December 8, 2015
ESMM SC-FM guide - Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina (ESMM SC). Homegrown: South Carolina’s guide to starting or enhancing your community's farmers' market. Irmo: Eat Smart Move More South Carolina; 2008. Accessed on March 15, 2016
LHC-Rockeymoore 2014 - Rockeymoore M, Moscetti C, Fountain A. Rural Childhood Obesity Prevention Toolkit. Leadership for Healthy Communities (LHC). 2014. Accessed on June 16, 2017
OMC-Maring 2006 - Maring P, Scanton J. Kaiser Permanente farmers’ market resource guide. Oakland: Oakland Medical Center (OMC); 2006. Accessed on March 15, 2016
PolicyLink-FMs 2008 - PolicyLink. Equitable development toolkit: Farmers markets. 2008. Accessed on January 25, 2016
PolicyLink-HFAP map - PolicyLink, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), The Food Trust. Healthy food access portal (HFAP): Research your community interactive map for healthy food access. Accessed on March 1, 2016
US DHHS-Healthy food financing - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Administration for Children & Families (ACF). Healthy food financing initiative. Accessed on March 13, 2017
USDA-Farmers markets - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Farmers markets and direct-to-consumer marketing. Accessed on February 10, 2017
USDA-FMPP - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Farmers market promotion program (FMPP). Accessed on February 7, 2017
USDA-NIFA - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Community food projects competitive grant program (CFPCGP). Accessed on February 20, 2017

Citations - Evidence

Alberti 2008 - Alberti P, Hadi E, Cespedes A, Grimshaw V, Bedell J. Farmers’ markets - Bringing fresh, nutritious food to the South Bronx: A neighborhood report from the Bronx District Public Health Office. New York: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; 2008. Accessed on November 30, 2015
Blanck 2011 - Blanck HM, Thompson OM, Nebeling L, Yaroch AL. Improving fruit and vegetable consumption: Use of farm-to-consumer venues among US adults. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2011;8(2):A49. Accessed on December 1, 2015
CDC DNPAO-Farm - Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). Farm-to-where-you-are programs. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 2010. Accessed on November 30, 2015
CDC-Food deserts - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A look inside food deserts. Accessed on December 7, 2015
CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strategies to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases: The CDC guide to strategies to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS); 2011. Accessed on March 1, 2017
CDC-Olmsted County MN - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Community profile: Olmsted County, Minnesota. Accessed on December 1, 2015
Cromp 2012 - Cromp D, Cheadle A, Solomon L, et al. Kaiser Permanente’s Farmers’ Market Program: description, impact, and lessons learned. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 2012;2(2):29–36. Accessed on December 10, 2015
Evans 2012* - Evans AE, Jennings R, Smiley AW, et al. Introduction of farm stands in low-income communities increases fruit and vegetable among community residents. Health & Place. 2012;18(5):1137-43. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Fitzgerald 2011 - Fitzgerald N, Hallman WK. Effectiveness of a farmers market intervention to improve the food access and intake in an urban setting. Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2011;25(98.6). Accessed on February 10, 2016
Freedman 2011a* - Freedman DA, Bell BA, Collins LV. The veggie project: A case study of a multi-component farmers' market intervention. Journal of Primary Prevention. 2011;32(3-4):213-24. Accessed on February 5, 2016
Freedman 2013* - Freedman DA, Choi SK, Hurley T, Anadu E, Hebert JR. A farmers’ market at a federally qualified health center improves fruit and vegetable intake among low-income diabetics. Preventive Medicine. 2013;56(5):288–92. Accessed on February 5, 2016
Herman 2008 - Herman DR, Harrison GG, Afifi AA, Jenks E. Effect of a targeted subsidy on intake of fruits and vegetables among low-income women in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. American Journal of Public Health. 2008;98(1):98-105. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Larsen 2009* - Larsen K. Reassessing state housing trust funds: Results of a Florida survey. Housing Studies. 2009;24(2):173–201. Accessed on February 24, 2016
McCormack 2010* - McCormack LA, Laska MN, Larson NI, Story M. Review of the nutritional implications of farmers’ markets and community gardens: A call for evaluation and research efforts. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(3):399-408. Accessed on March 1, 2016
McGuirt 2011* - McGuirt JT, Jilcott SB, Liu H, Ammerman AS. Produce price savings for consumers at farmers’ markets compared to supermarkets in North Carolina. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2011;6(1):86–98. Accessed on March 1, 2016
Morales 2009 - Morales A, Kettles G. Zoning for public markets and street vendors. American Planning Association. 2009;25(2):1-8. Accessed on February 1, 2016
PolicyLink-Flournoy 2005 - Flournoy R, Treuhaft S. Healthy food, healthy communities: Improving access and opportunities through food retailing. Oakland: PolicyLink; 2005. Accessed on May 24, 2016
Racine 2010* - Racine EF, Smith Vaughn A, Laditka SB. Farmers' market use among African-American women participating in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(3):441-6. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Ruelas 2012* - Ruelas V, Iverson E, Kiekel P, Peters A. The role of farmers' markets in two low income, urban communities. Journal of Community Health. 2012;37(3):554-62. Accessed on May 20, 2016
Sallis 2006* - Sallis JF, Glanz K. The role of built environments in physical activity, eating, and obesity in childhood. Future of Children. 2006;16(1):89-108. Accessed on May 20, 2016
Swenson 2012 - Swenson PJ. Paired price comparisons of farmer’s market and supermarket produce in San Luis Obispo County. San Luis Obispo: California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly); 2012. Accessed on November 9, 2015
USDA-Brantley 2002 - Brantley L, Bragg E, Klotz JCV, et al. Improving and facilitating a farmers market in a low-income urban neighborhood: A Washington, DC case study. Washington, DC: Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Transportation and Marketing Programs, Wholesale and Alternative Markets (WAM), US Department of Agriculture (USDA); 2002. Accessed on February 6, 2017
USDA-Ragland 2011 - Ragland E, Lakins V, Coleman C. Results of DOT survey: USDA outdoor farmers market. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS); 2011. Accessed on February 16, 2017
UW IRP-McCracken 2012 - McCracken VA, Sage JL, Sage RA. Bridging the gap: Do farmers’ markets help alleviate impacts of food deserts? Madison: Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2012: Discussion Paper 1401–12. Accessed on November 18, 2015
Young 2011* - Young C, Karpyn A, Uy N, Wich K, Glyn J. Farmers’ markets in low income communities: Impact of community environment, food programs and public policy. Community Development. 2011;42(2):208-20. Accessed on November 24, 2015

Citations - Implementation

CDC-State indicator 2013 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO). State indicator report on fruits and vegetables, 2013. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS); 2013. Accessed on March 1, 2017
ChangeLab-Land use and FMs - Wooten H, Ackerman A. From the ground up: Land use policies to protect and promote farmers’ markets. Oakland: ChangeLab Solutions; 2013. Accessed on December 1, 2015
NCSL Winterfeld-Obesity prevention 2014 - Winterfeld A. State actions to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in schools and communities: Summary and analysis of trends in legislation. National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). 2014. Accessed on May 19, 2017
NCSL-Farmers market - National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Farmers’ market. Accessed on April 6, 2016
USDA-Farmers markets - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Farmers markets and direct-to-consumer marketing. Accessed on February 10, 2017
USDA-FMPP - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Farmers market promotion program (FMPP). Accessed on February 7, 2017
UW Ext-WFSP - University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension (UW Ext). Wisconsin food security project (WFSP): Your source for visualizing and downloading data on food access and the food security infrastructure in Wisconsin. Accessed on February 29, 2016
WI FMA-Market search - Wisconsin Farmers Market Association (WI FMA). Find a market in your neighborhood or wherever you travel. Accessed on November 19, 2015

Page Last Updated

December 9, 2015

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