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posted April 09, 2007

Policy Recommendations for Toronto Farmers' Markets

Farmers' Markets are frequent topic of discussion around Toronto these days. Interest in local eating, the importance of providing farmers with a viable way to make a living, and recognition of just how much fun it is to go to a neighbourhood market are all part of the picture.

The Dufferin Grove Market is a partner in Foodshare's project to strengthen a network of markets in the city through a grant they received from Project for Public Spaces. PPS is a New York-based non-profit group that is sponsoring 7 such projects with funding from the Ford Foundation. The Toronto project is the only non-U.S. grant recipient.

One aspect of the project is FoodShare's "Good Food Markets", fresh produce stands operated in partnership with community groups in areas of the city where there is limited food access. Another aspect is supporting new neighbourhood farmers' markets. Over the last few months, a Neighbourhood-Based Markets Working Group has developed, with organizers from projects in development at Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Withrow Park, and Wychwood Barns meeting with organizers of existing markets like ours, and staff from The Stop Community Food Centre and FoodShare. Our current focus is on the City Parks Department's development of a protocol for farmers' markets in parks. We hope to be positive contributors to the development of policies that really work for communities and market vendors.

You can read the Policy Recommendations document put together by the group here (pdf) >>.

In response to the growing interest in farmers´markets, and the city´s plans to create a policy on markets, market manager Anne Freeman and park staff Anna Bekerman have created a booklet that tells the story of the Dufferin Grove Farmers´ Market. As part of the Neighbourhood Farmers´ Market Working Group, the market is asking to collaborate with the city to develop policy, bringing the Dufferin experience to the table.

You can read the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market: One Model for an Urban Based Farmers' Market booklet here (pdf) >>

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