News Date: 05/04/2010
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that the 223 farmers markets across Iowa in 2009 had an estimated $59.4 million in direct and indirect sales and an additional $12.2 million of personal income effects. In addition, 374 direct jobs and over 200 indirect jobs could be attributed to the activities of farmers markets.
“In the five years since the last comprehensive survey we have seen a 92 percent increase in sales at the farmers markets located across the state,” Northey said. “Farmers markets are a great opportunity to access fresh, nutritious, locally grown foods and it looks like Iowans are taking full advantage of that opportunity.”
The report also shows that farmers markets had $38.4 million in sales in 2009 based on consumer reports, which was an increase from $20 million in 2004. Other findings from the report show that approximately 99,000 customers and 1,500 vendors attended at least one market in 2009. Also, the average customer returned for approximately 11 market visits per season.
The survey also showed that farmers market customers spent an average of $17.12 per visit. When visiting, 84.4 percent of customers purchased fresh fruit and vegetables and 45 percent purchased baked good.
Iowa is a national leader in the number of farmers markets. In 2009 we had 223 markets in operations, the fourth most nationally and second in the number per capita. We have also seen the number of markets increase by more that 75 percent over the past 15 years.
“This report again highlights the importance of farmers markets as a way for consumers to purchase the wide variety of agricultural products raised and grown here in Iowa and a great opportunity to get to know and interact with the farmer that produced them,” Northey said.
The findings come from the 2009 Farmers Market Economic Impact Survey that was conducted by a cooperative agreement between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service Iowa Field Office. Surveys were conducted at farmers markets throughout the state and the data was provided to Strategic Economics Group, Inc for analyses. Dr. Daniel Otto, a Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, is a Principal Associate with Strategic Economics and conducted the analysis. (Contact: Dustin Vande Hoef, 515-281-3375)
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