Farmers Markets Bad for Farmers??!!

by Scott K
(New Terra Farm, Merrickville)

A recent news story informed us that the Competition Bureau was 'looking in to' price fixing at farmers markets in Ottawa. Apparently our ever-vigilant public servants noticed a suspicious price similarity among vendors at the market.

Which forces me to bring up two points: First, have you ever seen two neighbouring gas stations with prices that vary by more than a penny? I guess this is OK for Big Oil, but not Old MacDonald.

Second, let's suppose the farmer in the market booth beside you drops her price for tomatoes. What are your choices? Match her price and reduce your profit, or don't match it and lose sales!

Third (OK, I guess I had 3 points), would the world be a better place if the various government snoops were forced to get a REAL job??!!

I don't use farmers markets myself, partly because of Point 2 above (the Community Supported Agriculture model is superior IMHO) but, Mr. Government Snoop, leave these people alone so they can make a living and pay the taxes that support your salary.


Comments for Farmers Markets Bad for Farmers??!!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

re: Farmer's market price fixing
by: Anonymous

wow, you are right I DID NOT get that from the article I read. If directors of a market are in collusion and pressuring other growers to maintain a certain price level, that goes beyond price fixing into abuse of authority and conflict of interest.

I have friends and neighbours who sell at various markets around me, and over the years I have heard about the 'politics' that happen therein. This formed part of my decision to avoid the markets and go CSA. But this is one of the worst examples I have heard of, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Scott K

Fix Your Price at the Farmer'sMarket or LEAVE!
by: Anonymous

You miss the point. The reverse is true. At this market, farmers are forced to price their produce in line with the "big boys" (who happen to be the directors of the market) or they are kicked out of the market. Is this fair?

The price fixing hurts the small producers so that the large producers can overcharge the public with their chemical-laden produce! Vendors should be free to price their wares as they see fit.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Market Gardening.