Montgomery, AL – In recognition of the 16th Annual National Farmers Market Week, Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan officially proclaimed this week, August 2-8, 2015, as Farmers Market Week in Alabama. Farmers markets are important outlets for our producers in Alabama, providing them with increased opportunities to meet consumer demand for a variety of fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthy produce sold directly from the farm. McMillan also recognizes the important role that farmers markets play in our local economies.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, American adults are eating better, making better use of available nutrition information, and eating more fiber. A more health conscious society has increased the demand for fresh produce that is high in fiber and more nutritious. Alabama farmers have stepped up to meet that demand and established several new farmers markets in the past 15 years. In 1999, there were only 17 farmers markets in Alabama and now that number has increased to 157 farmers markets today, in addition to approximately 230 farm stands.
“Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems and provide opportunities for farmers and consumers to interact,” said Commissioner McMillan. “The farmer produces a quality product that the consumer wants to purchase, that’s a win-win for everybody!”
Commissioner McMillan encourages Alabama citizens to visit one of Alabama’s farmers market not only for the rest of this week but for the rest of the growing season. Fresh local produce is a good, healthy idea any time of year!