World Farmers Market Coalition (WFMC) launched
The inaugural meeting of the newly formed World Farmers Market Coalition (WFMC) took place in style in July as part of the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit.
The WFMC – a project launched and led by Coldiretti, the Italian Farmers Market Association – is made up of farmers market networks from around the world. Founding members in attendance at the launch event included market representatives from Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Georgia, Ghana, Italy, Norway, UK, and the USA.
As part of the event, the inaugural members took part in a global farmers market celebrating local produce from around the world. Attended and endorsed by the UN Under-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and convened by Campagna Amica at the San Teodoro market, the transformative power of farmers markets to bring people together was abundantly clear, as farmers market associations from each corner of the globe met, engaged with press and UN representatives, and heard speeches from a number of key delegates.
Cheryl Cohen of London Farmers Markets attended on behalf of the UK. Cheryl said: “It’s great that farmers markets have received formal recognition from the UN. This event gave everyone the chance to have a say in what they think the most important aspects of the coalition should be, in turn supporting real farmers markets around the world”
On Monday 26th July, the WFMC convened its inaugural meeting to discuss its mission and objectives over the coming months in the lead up to the UN Food Systems Summit in New York on 23rd September 2021.
Mission and next steps
The WFMC’s mission in 2021/2022 is to facilitate the establishment of new farmers markets around the world. The WFMC will also work to strengthen existing markets by facilitating exchange of knowledge and experience, and engaging with key stakeholders to remove barriers and improve capacity of markets to ensure farmers markets’ position(s) in food system transformation.
The experience of COVID-19 showed us all the resilience of farmers markets. They continue to serve communities as safe, self-regulated spaces in which farmers directly supply people with food.
The FAO has identified the importance of farmers markets in steering the food system transformation in the right direction. The FAO recommends utilising the World Farmers Market Coalition to build new relations with nations and governments to transform food policy. It can offer technical expertise, neutrality, and convening power in pursuit of these aims. At the core of every farmers market is the farmer, and ensuring that markets remain focus around this central figure is vital to the success of farmers markets.
The next meeting of the WFMC will be at the UN Food Systems Summit in New York on 23rd September 2021.