piac poszter

"EVERY DISTRICT NEEDS A PUBLIC MARKET"

The way our food is grown and marketed influences our environment, health and the quality of daily life.
Farmers’ markets and market halls are important links in the food distribution chain; they enable local farmers and vendors to be present within the food market place. For city dwellers they are the primary distribution link for a variety of tasty, quality, seasonal and locally produced vegetables, fruits and meats.
Small farmers are essential in an equitable food distribution chain. They can provide a diverse range of healthy food products utilising sustainable methods that protect the land and the environment.
On the production side, the sustainability and development of local agriculture and small farms are dependent on national and EU agricultural and trade policies as well as civic initiatives. These policies define the global and local links in the food distribution chain and determine the economic viability of small farms as well as the operating practices of hypermarkets and global retailers. Without a balanced and sustainable food distribution chain the quantity, variety and quality of regional products will be reduced.
As a primary outlet for local produce, farmers’ markets and market halls are motors of economic activity that provide a livelihood to both vendors and producers.
Contrary to popular opinion, on the average, public food markets provide consumers with prices below or equal to those charged by large supermarket chains. The anti-competitive practices of hypermarkets and global retailers are dominating factors in the production and distribution of food, which diminishes the viability and diversity of local land and farm management schemes.
Municipal farmers’ markets and market halls are public spaces integral to community life; they are gathering places that can enrich the quality of life in a neighbourhood.
Local farmer’s markets and market halls are valuable traditional resources endangered by planning schemes more favourable to the real estate market than neighbourhood development.
Hypermarkets, though convenient, have a negative impact on the urban environment and neighbourhoods. They rely on cars to deliver customers and this increases air pollution; they require parking areas and service roads larger than the stores themselves; they cause small shops to go out of business consequently reducing local shopping choices, community amenities and livelihoods.

Recommendations

Local governments and market administrators should support the development of district food markets as sites of commercial and social activity beneficial to the local population and farmers;
Food markets should be maintained, revitalised and expanded as viable economic entities valuable to city life and local economies. The infrastructure and policies of existing markets should be clarified and maintained to fulfil these objectives.
The development, management and maintenance of public markets are a social responsibility and they should be managed in a transparent and accountable manner.
Market managers should define and promote responsible policies that take into consideration different selling routines, scale of production and methods of operation. Administrators should develop policies for local and small producers with simplified procedures appropriate to their activities.
On the national level, agricultural policies should be developed and promoted to encourage the preservation and production of different varieties of fruits, vegetables and produce. Existing legislation should be improved in order to allow the propagation, production and sale of local food varieties by the small producers.
Through consumer awareness campaigns and other means, district governments and civic groups should popularise and facilitate the spreading and strengthening of short food supply chains through direct marketing initiatives and networks.
Gabo Bartha, Levente Polyak, Allan Siegel
Wednesday, 14 September 2011