Your Local Farmers’ Market Might Be a Scam?
In the past few years, farmers’ markets from the United States and Canada have been found to have vendors selling products they purchased from local wholesalers while claiming that they either personally grew the produce or that their neighbors did. Furthermore, many of these fraudulent vendors were marking up the prices their prices under the pretense of “local farmers produce.”
In 2016, food critic and investigative journalist Laura Reiley wrote an article for the Tampa Bay Times entitled Tampa Bay farmers markets are lacking in just one thing: Local farmers where she points out that only 16 out of nearly 350 vendors actually grew their own produce. The rest of the vendors fell under the label of “reseller” and not local growers.
To be totally fair, as was stated above, there are different kinds of farmers’ markets. In most cases, the farmers’ market where actual farmers go to sell their product a subset of farmers’ market and are referred to as “producer-only markets.” With producer-only markets, vendors must sign a contract stating that they grew the food they’re selling. Nevertheless, many of these producer-only markets do a poor job of enforcing the rule if at all.