‘Fantastic’ for farmers who need more greens to keep up with demand
By GARY C. GOLDBAUM and MARGARET M. BARRETT Source Fox News article Farmers’ market vendors and food retailers are growing increasingly concerned that the market is growing too fast.
The growth of the grocery and natural food market is outpacing demand and many consumers are being overwhelmed by the amount of product they are buying, said Sarah Wray, senior vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“What’s happening is people are going from grocery to supermarket, and they’re not going to make it to the farmer’s market or the farmer market to make the food they want,” she said.
Wray said the rapid growth of grocery and retail is not sustainable, because they’re becoming too big.
Many farmers are seeing the food products they sell as a substitute for traditional farm products, including grains, beef, dairy, and other meats.
The growth is not limited to food, either.
Some farmers are looking to supplement their food supply with other food products, such as fish and seafood, she said, adding that the demand for seafood and other fish is increasing.
Some farmers are also selling their produce for meat, which is becoming a growing segment of the food business.
However, some of the growth has been driven by farmers’ willingness to pay more for produce and meat, even as they are able to grow their sales.
Farmers are buying more produce and meats, and consumers are willing to pay higher prices for it, said Mary Hockett, president of The Organic Market Research, a market research company.
And that’s putting pressure on farmers to find more food that is locally grown, Hocketson said.
She said the price of produce is increasing as consumers are looking for more local ingredients, which means less of the ingredients needed to produce those foods.
Hockett said consumers are becoming more willing to buy products from farmers because of the increase in demand for food and the increased value of the products.
While the food industry is growing, so is the demand in the grocery store, according to the National Farmers Union.
Farmed-food prices have gone up in some states, but overall they haven’t gone up that much, said Paul Tatum, president and chief executive officer of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Tatum said the food market has a long way to go before it is competitive with the food and other services that the economy needs.
Still, there are many farmers who are willing and able to make a profit selling their food at farmers markets, he said.
Farmers, however, need more green, according a report from the Pew Research Center released Thursday.
About 30% of all U.S. households now get at least some of their food from local farmers, according the report, which found that farmers produce about 65% of the fruits and vegetables grown in the United States, and that their farmers markets account for about a third of all food sales.