Message from Tara McDonald, Executive Director of Vancouver Farmers Markets
Happy 2015! As we settle into the new year, I’m thrilled to report that 2014 was an exceptional year for Vancouver Farmers Markets. Our farmers markets grew in very way possible, opening in new neighbourhoods like Hastings-Sunrise and Mt. Pleasant, offering new products like fresh fish and local artisan beer, wine & spirits, increasing access for low-income families to farmers markets through the Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program, and seeing more chefs direct-sourcing market-fresh products to feature on their menus.
Here are just a few stats highlighting VFM’s impact in 2014:
New markets: Hastings Park (winter pilot: Sundays), Yaletown (Thursdays) & Mt. Pleasant (Sundays)
New products permitted: fresh fish & locally brewed, vinted and distilled alcohol
Number of VFM vendors: 265 (up from 245 in 2013)
Number of VFM Members: 1, 054
Number of Twitter followers: 29, 000
Farmers Market Coupon Program participating families: 110
Acres of BC land in production of local food destined for Vancouver buyers: 6, 000
Annual Vendor Sales: $8.1M (up from $7.1 M in 2013)
VFM is also proud to announce that 2015 marks Vancouver Farmers Markets 20th anniversary, and you’re all invited to celebrate with us! To kick-off the year, we’ll be launching a revitalized Vision, Mission and 3-year Strategic Plan and we’ll be featuring a roster of fun, engaging festivals and events on-site at various markets throughout 2015. Stay tuned for announcements coming soon!
In the meantime, on behalf of the VFM vendors, board, staff and volunteers, big thanks goes to you – our growing number of market shoppers, members, sponsors and supporters. By buying direct from your local small farmer and enjoying BC-grown food, you are building a better, stronger regional food system for the future.
See you at the markets!
2014 Fundraising Report: