DOVER, DELAWARE (12/26/2014) Farmers’ markets across the state had a record $2.6 million sales season, the Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today. The sales were double the amount of five years ago.
Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee said the markets are a great example of public-private partnerships. “Over the last few years, we have seen an incredible rise in people wanting to eat healthy and buy fresh, local foods for themselves and their children.”
The farmers’ markets are run by municipalities, business groups, farmers or market associations, with the Department of Agriculture providing support.
Sales from all 27 markets were up more than $520,000 from 2013. Sales have increased more than eightfold since the Department of Agriculture began tracking them in 2007.
Fresh produce made up 59 percent of the total sales in 2014, with the remainder coming from products such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs or honey.
“This record-setting season is a reflection of Delaware’s thriving local food movement,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Farmers’ markets help strengthen our neighborhoods and increase economic opportunity. Our farmers, community leaders and market organizers deserve congratulations for a job well-done and thanks for their hard work to keep Delaware’s agriculture and food sector moving forward.”
The 2015 market season will begin in April, with most markets starting in May, June and July. There are two winter markets , in Millsboro and Delaware City.
Delaware farmers’ market sales: